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COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW 





THE JOURNAL OF THE ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA * AUTUMN 2003 
www.commiinitymediareview.org 



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AUTUMN 2003 
VOLUME 26. NUMBER 3 

CMR EDITORIAL BOARD 

Dirk Koning, Chair 
Grand Rapids Community Media Center 
Harry Haasch., Information Services Chair 
Ann Arbor Community Television Netwobk 
Bob Devine, Antioch College; Betty Francis, 
Montgomery College; Jeffrey TlanseU, Maiden 
Access Television; John W. Higgins, Menlo College; 
Bill Kirkpatrick, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF THIS ISSUE 

Betty Francis / Bill Kirkpatrick 

MANAGING EDITOR 

Tim Goodwin 

NATIONAL OFFICE 

Bunnie Ricdel, Executive Director 
Heidi Grace, Government Relations/Communications 
Felicia Brown, Membership/Operations 
Margaret Wanca-Daniels, Advertising Sales 

ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Paul Berg, Thomas Bishop, Alan Bushong, Frank 
Clark, Ann Flynn Goldenberg, Harry Haasch, 
James Horwood, Jim Liindberg, Melissa Mills, Ruth 
Mills, Robert Neal, Miguel Ortega, Steve Raniefi, 
Nancy Richard, Nantz Rickard, Debra Rogers, 
James G. Rossi, Jr., Jackie Steven, 
Karen Toering, Brian Wilso n 



Alliance 
for 

Community 

Media 




Community Media Review [ISSN 1074-9004) 
is published quarterly by the Alliance for 
Community Media, Inc. Subscriptions $35 a 
year. Please send subscriptions, memberships, 
address changes, advertising and editorial 
inquiries to the Alliance for Community Media, 
666 11th St. NW, Suite 740, Washington, DC 
20001-4542. Telephone 202.393.2650 voice, 
202.393.2653 fax. Email: acm@alliancecm.org or 
visit the Alliance for Community Media website 
at www.alliancecm.org 

Requests for bulk orders considered in 
advance of publication. Contact the national 
office for rates and delivery. 

Copyright ©2003 by the Alliance for Com- 
munity Media, Inc. Prior written permission of 
the Alliance for Community Media required for 
all reprints or usage. 

Produced through the studios of 



medial 



Upfront • pages 3-8 

Bunnie Riedel, Brian Wilson, Board of Directors 

Seniors & Community Media • Pages 9-34 

Introduction, Betty Francis and Bill Kirkpatrick, 9 I Seniors Bring 
More than Special Needs to Access, George Stoney, 11 / Seniors: 
A Class Act, Barbara Tolstmp, 15 / Senior Moments in Maiden, 
Anne D'Urso-Rose, 15 / Computer Training for Seniors in 
Falmouth, JoAnn Fishbein, 1 7 / You Should Live So Long, Jim 
Carney, 18 / Volunteer Seniors In Action atMNN, Ruth Glanz, 20 
/ Mayville Senior Report in its 8th Year, Charles L. Kelsey, 21 / 
'the biggest communication hang for the buck', Dave Cannan, 
21 / Over-achiever Inspires Others in Rye, James Kenny, 22 / The 
Amazing Grays in Erie, Jeanne Bleil, 22 / In Praise of Age and 
You, Paul Joffrion, 24 / Programming for the Elderly Featured in 
Tampa, MJ Williamson, 25 / Dallas Community TV Celebrates 
Seniors, Beth McKee, 26 / Oh Say Have You Seen Salina's Special 
Seniors, Dave Hawksworth, 27 / Promoting A Positive View of 
Aging, Elaine Beck, 28 / CAN TV 21 's Senior Network Offers 
Variety, Allan Gomez, 29 / Edith Doil: Younger than her 86 Years, 
Ron Beacom, 30 / The Sage Video Production Group, Felicia 
Jamison, 30 / Not Your Typical Little Old Lady, Chuck Peterson, 
31 / The Better Part Celebrates 20 Years, Val Jeffery, 35 / Senior 
Information Journal in Contra Costa, Judy Weitzner, 33 / Maui's 
Community TV Gives Long Term Care a Voice and a Vision, Tony 
Krieg and Rita Barreras, 33 

2003 Alliance Conference •Pages 35-44 

Alliance Honors Community Media Leaders, 35 / Director's 
Choice Awards, 36 / Public Access Has Given Me a Voice, Wanda 
Baer, 37 / The Satellite Bridge Across the Digital Divide, DeeDee 
Halleck, 39 / Alliance National Board Examines Diversity Issues 
and Team Building, 41 / Community Media and Social Change 
Workshops Create Buzz at Conference, jessikah maria ross, 41 / 
Conference Photographs, 43 



As the journal of the Alliance for Community Media, COMMUNITY Media Review shall support the 
Alliance mission by providing: a comprehensive overview of past, present and future issues critical 
to the Alliance and its membership; vigorous and thought fid debate on those issues; and a venue 
for members and like-minded groups to present issues critical to the Alliance. 



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FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 



Lessons Learned, Long Remembered 



BY BUNNIE RIEDEL 



Jerry MacDonald knew what 
Journalism was all about. He had a pas- 
sion for doing it right and he transferred 
that passion to me. 

In 1972, 1 entered Mr. MacDonald's 
class as a plebe. I had always liked writ- 
ing, so 1 thought the journalism class at 
my high school and the possibility of 
working on the school newspaper was a 
good place for me. Journalism seemed to 
compliment the forensics and drama 
classes I was taking. And besides, Mr. 
MacDonald was also the baseball coach, 
so all the cute baseball players were in his 
class. 

Being the nostalgic pack tat that I am, 
1 still have several copies of my high 
school newspapet, The Growl About 
every three years I pull them out of their 
storage containers and muse through 
them. I am amazed on the kind of articles 
we were allowed to write without censor- 
ship. Eventually when I was a page editor 
and had my own opinion column, I did 
articles on teen pregnancy, our nation's 
dependence on Saudi oil (in which I 
urged that we end that dependency), the 
environment and how bad the roads were 
around my high school. As I remember it 
(and Jerry could probably correct me), we 
had tremendous freedom to investigate, 
research and print articles on topics that 
today might be censored by the principal 
or even the school superintendent. And 
all of this was taking place in a school dis- 
trict that prided itself on conservative 
family values. In fact, the first protest I 
ever participated in was a school-wide 
walkout by the girl students demanding 
the freedom to wear pants to school! 

Mr. MacDonald started his instruction 
insisting that we learn the "rules" of good 
journalism. Some of them I remember 
are: 

• Start with a lead paragraph that 
summarizes what the story is going to be 
about. 

• Always be objective when reporting. 
Opinions were for opinion columns, not 
the real hard news. While you may be 
passionate about a story you must dis- 




passionately report the facts. 

• Confirm information. Do your 
homework. Get more than one source. 
Strive to be as accurate as possible when 
quoting someone and if your notes 
weren't clear, check with the source to 
confirm the quote. 

• Write as concisely as you can. 
Objectively edit yourself at every turn. 
Hyperbole was for sportscasters not for 
journalists. 

• Write headlines that were action ori- 
ented, but not exaggerated. 

There was a lot that Jerry taught me 
about integrity, truthfulness, a need to do 
your best; but these are the rules I 
remember. Our newspaper frequently 
won awards and every year, he would 
load us into a bus for a trek up to San 
Francisco to be part of a journalism con- 
ference for high school students. 

Mr. MacDonald not only taught us 
journalism, he taught us "media literacy." 
We were to be aware of the news of the 
day and were encouraged to dissect and 
analyze it. As fate would have it, 
Watergate occurred while 1 was a student 
in his class. Understanding the historical 
importance of Watergate, Mr. MacDonald 
frequently started the class by reading the 
stories of the day about the scandal. We 
learned the names Woodward and 
Bernstein as he emphasized to a bunch of 
know-nothing squirrelly high school stu- 
dents that we were experiencing history 
unfold before our eyes. 

I frequently think about Jerry 
MacDonald and the gift he gave us, par- 
ticularly as 1 see the shrinkage of media 
and the tabloid nature of the news. I long- 



ingly think about the days when 
journalism was a calling of the 
highest order and then simultane- 
ously chasten myself for my naivete 
. Journalism hasn't slipped off its 
tracks, we the American people 
have demanded it give us more, 
faster, cheaper, and we have clam- 
ored for salaciousness and scandal. 
We want it juicy and we can't take 
our eyes off the gossip columns. 
Doing interviews with print reporters, 
1 find wonderful people who know and 
practice the righteous ethics of journal- 
ism. They are the ones who ask me intelli- 
gent questions, who take the time to get it 
right, to probe a little deeper, and I do 
everything 1 can to help them. But so 
many of them, in our private conversa- 
tions, will tell me that they are under 
pressure from editors and publishers to 
write the story a certain way. And they are 
under pressure not to spit in the eye of 
their most lucrative advertisers. 

Then there's the electronic media, and 
we could all fill volumes on what has hap- 
pened there. 

In the early '80s when I was a copy- 
writer for an advertising company, I sent 
Jerry a message through one of his stu- 
dents telling him that I thanked him for 
"teaching me how to fish," giving me life 
skills that led to gainful employment. And 
now, 22 years later, I want to thank Jerry 
again, not just for "teaching me how to 
fish," but teaching me how to use my 
brain, what standards 1 should aspire to 
and why the work I now do in media is so 
important. He was doing then what you 
are doing now for people all over this 
country through Public, Educational and 
Government access television. 

I also want bim to know I am nervous 
about writing this column. I am hoping 
that he won't send me back for a re- write. 
And if he does, I'll fill you in on that in 
some later column. 



Bunnie Riedel is executive director of the 
Alliance for Community Media. Contact her 
at briedel@a Uiancecm. org 



2003 ALLIANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



Brian Wilson Chair, At Large 

City and Country of San Francisco 

875 Stevenson, 5* floor 

San Francisco, CA 94103 

Voice: 415,554.0894 / Fax: 415.554,0854 

Email: brian , wilson@sfgov. org 

Frank Clark Vice Chair, 

Strategic Planning Chair 

City Hall 

80! Plum St., Room 28 

Cincinnati, OH 45202 

Voice: 513,352.5307 / Fax: 513.352.5347 

Email: franfc.clark@rcc.org 

Nancy Richard Treasurer 

Plymouth Area Community Access Television 

130 Court Street Rear 

Plymouth, MA 02350 

Voice: 508.830.6999 / Fax 508.830.9666 

Email:nrichard@pact.,org 

Ruth Mills Secretary 

Whitewater Community Television 

c/o Indiana University East 

2325 Chester Blvd. 

Richmond, IN 47374 

Voice: 765.973.8488 / Fax: 765.973.8489 

Email: rumills@indiana.edu 



Regional Chairs & Representatives 



James C. Rossi, Jr. Mid-Atlantic Chair, 

Chair of Chairs 

C-NET 

243 South Allen St., Suite 336 

State College, PA 16801 

Voice: 814.238.5031 / Fax: 814.238.5368 

Email: jrossit< : ceinetworks.com 

Tom Bishop Central States Chair 

Membership Committee Chair 

Norwood Community Television 
PO Box 12366 
Norwood, OH 45212 

Voice: 513.396.7509x10 / Fax: 513.396.5551 
Email: bishop@nctonline.org 

Robert Neal Northwest Chair 

1108 N. Cedar 

Tacoma, WA 98406 

Voice: 253.756.1667 

Email: bneal@thewiredcity.net 

Steve Ranieri Western States Representative 
International Chair 

Quote.. .Unquote, Inc. 

POBox 26206 

Albuquerque, NM 87125 

Voice: 505.243.0027 / Fax 505.243.5883 

sranieri@quote-unquote.org 

Debra Rogers Northeast Representative 
Conference Planning Chair 

Falmouth Community Television 

310 Dillingham Ave. 

Falmouth, MA 02540 

Voice: 508.457.0800 / Fax: 508.457.1604 

Email: deb@fctv.org 



mm, 



Alison Fussell Southeast Chair 

People TV, Inc. 

190 14th Street NW 

Atlanta, Georgia 30318 

Voice: 404.873.6712 / Fax: 404.874.3239 

Email: afusselI@peoplctv.org 

Sharon King Southwest Chair 

Dallas Community Television 

1253 Roundtable 

Dallas, TX 75247 

Voice: 214.631.5571 / Fax: 214.637.5342 

Email: dctvceo@eaithlink.net 

Jim Lundberg Midwest Chair 

Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission 
4071 Sunset Drive 
Spring Park, MN 55384 
Voice: 952.471.7125 
Email: jim@imcc-tv.org 



Ad Hoc Committees 



Paul Berg Organizational Development 

Newton Communications Access Center, Inc. 

PO Box 6101 92 

Newton, MA 0246 1-0 192 

Voice: 617.965.7200x17/ Fax: 617.965.5677 

Email: pmilb@newtv.org 

Harry Haasch Information Services 

Community Television Network. 

425 S. Main, Suite LL 114 

Ann Arbor, MI 48104 

Voice: 734.994,1833 / Fax: 734.994.8731 

Email: hhaasch@ci,ann-arbor.mi.us 

Karen Toering Grassroots Chair 

911 Media Arts Center 

117 Yale North 

Seattle, WA 98109 

Voice: 206.682.6552 / Fax: 206.682.7422 
Email: karenatseattle@yahoo.com 



AT-LARGE 



Melissa Mills 

DATV 
280 Leo St. 
Dayton, OH 45404 

Voice: 937.223.5311 / Fax: 937.223.2345 
Email: melissa@datv.org 

Miguel Ortega 

Access Tucson 
124 E. Broadway 
Tucson, AZ 85701 

Voice: 520.624.9833 / Fax: 520.792.2565 

Email: migueI@access.tucson.org 

Jackie Steven 

Arlington Community TV 

2701 C Wilson Blvd. ' 

Arlington, VA 22201 

Voice: 703.524.2388 / Fax: 703.908.9239 
Email: jax@channel33.org 



DISCRETIONARY APPOINTEES 



Board/Personnel 
Development 



Alan Bushong 

Capital Community Television 
PO Box 2342 
Salem, OR 97308-2342 
Voice: 503.588.2288 / Fax: 503.588.6424 
Email: cctv@teleport.com 



James Horwood Legal Affairs Appointee 

Spiegel & McDiarmid 

1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW 

Washington, DC 20036 

Voice: 202.879.4002 / Fax: 202.393.2866 

Email: james.honvood@spiegelmcd.com 

Jennifer Harris Equal Opportunity Chair 

GRTV 

711 Bridge St. NW 
Voice: 616.459.4788 
Fax: 616.459.3970 
Email: jennifer@grcmc.org 

Nantz Rickard 

DCTV 

901 Newton St. NE 

Washington, DC 20017 

Voice: 202.526.7007 / Fax: 202.526.6646 

Email: dclv@starpovver.net 



'Talk Amongst Yourselves.. 



Information, resources, networking 
and national office announcements 
are available day or night. The Alliance 
hosts three listservs to help you: 

The Access Forum list is open to anyone inter- 
ested in community access. To sign-up, Inter- 
ested persons should send a message to: 
access-forum-subscrihe@lists.alliancean.org. 

The Alliance Announce list is open only to 
members of the Alliance for Community Media. 
Members should send a request to: alliance- 
announce-:ubscribe@ iists.alliancecm.org. 

To subscribe to the Alliances' Equal 
Opportunity list, send an email to 
alliance-en-subscribe@iists.alliance.cm.org 
After subscribing you may write messages to: 
ailiance-eo@lists.alliancecm.org 



USEFUL CONTACTS 



Alliance for Community Media 
665 llth St. NW, Suite 740 
Washington, DC 20001-4542 
202.393.2650 voice / 202.393.2653 fax 
Email: acm@alliancecm.org 
www.alliancecm.org 

Federal Communications Commission 

The Portals 
445 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20024 
202,418,0200 voice / 202.418.2812 fax 
www.fcc.gov 

Your Federal Legislators 

The Honorable 

United States Senate, Washington, DC 20515 

The Honorable 

United States House of Representatives 
Washington, DC 20510 
or call 202.224,3121 
on the web a! http://thomas.loc.gov 



FROM THE ALLIANCE CHAIR 




Got to Leave Now to Get the Senior Special 

BY BRIAN WILSON 



Nothing is more important to any of us than to know we 
have a positive impact on the world around us. When did we 
transition to believing that with age comes retirement and a 
desire to stop contributing to the world? 



Recently I was seated in a restaurant 
chatting with a colleague when I noticed 
an ad twirling above me like a cloud, 
"Seniors, buy one dinner get one free, 
2:00-4:00 p.m daily." I commented that it 
seemed ridiculous to me to drink that just 
because people were older, they ate din- 
ner at 2:00 p.m, I was reminded of the 
Seinfeld episode in which Jerry's parents 
are rushing to get to the restaurant before 
they miss their discount. Now I realize 
that cliches are cliches because there usu- 
ally is some amount of truth to them, but 
when did seniors become a class of citi- 
zens that need to be relegated to such 
constraints? Is it because we assume that 
older people need more rest and therefore 
go to bed earlier? Actually, it is a fact that 
people around my age need more rest 
and the older folks do not. Now, I don't 
know about your parents, but my 
nephews and nieces never saw a gray 
haired older woman sitting in a chair 
knitting. 

My parents retired over 20 years ago. 
Since that time my father developed a 
reputation on the tennis court as the guy 
the twenty-somethings want to play like. 
They have traveled extensively all over the 
globe. My mother delivered "meals on 
wheels" for years and to this day they are 
playing golf twice a week. They have been 
through another generation of football 
games, tennis tournaments, proms, grad- 
uations and college years with their five 
grandchildren. And now in their mid-80s, 
they are just beginning to slow down, but 
they remain fiercely independent. And 
when they do sit down long enough to 
watch TV they are looking for something 
geared toward them that does not conde- 
scend to their age. 

My parents have not gone without 
life's misfortunes either. But even when 
my mother faced breast cancer, it was a 
public access program hosted by a 
woman who faced the same condition 
and chronicled her treatment that offered 
my mother hope and solace. And my 
father hasn't missed out on the electronic 



age. The man never knew how to type 
much less use a PC. Now he religiously 
checks his email, banks, watches the mar- 
ket, and corresponds with his family in 
Australia via the internet. He is an able- 
bodied videophile as well. lie has trans- 
ferred family movies and edited family 
trips into virtual tours of the world. And 
he can rival any host in his ability to dis- 
cuss any topic and his desire to do so. 
Who says an old dog can't learn new 
tricks? 

Nothing is more important to any of 
us than to know wc have a positive 
impact on the world around us. When did 
we transition to believing that with age 
comes retirement and a desire to stop 
contributing to the world? Stop working, 
sure, I want to do that now, but stop con- 
tributing our gifts, talents, resources and 
maybe most importantly our knowledge 
and wisdom? I know one couple in 
Minnesota that declare, "never"! 

So I'm looking for inspiration in this 
issue as it casts a light on the misguided 
belief that being older means sitting in a 
rocking chair and knitting with an afghan 
on to keep us warm. I want to offer my 
parents, other seniors, and perhaps more 
importantly a younger generation, a 
glimpse at what these doctorates in life 
experience are doing around the country 
to share their lives and experience with all 
of us. And okay, I'll confess, my parents 
have stopped eating at some better 
restaurants in favor of Denny's because 
they can get the senior discount. Like I 
said, cliches become such because there 
can be some truth to them, but it is up to 
us to make certain wc arc not victims of 
our owti prejudices. 

So speaking of misguided beliefs, its 
been raining in California this summer, 
but the weather in Tacoma this past July 



was splendid. If you missed the national 
conference there, this issue of the CMR 
offers a recap of the highlights. I will 
share one of my highlights with you. It 
was the opportunity to meet Fernando 
Ferrer. Now there is a local leader and 
politician that gets it. His sharing his 
experience of holding the cable provider 
accountable to the Bronx community 
should serve as both an inspiration and 
role model to all our elected officials. 
Many of us are faced with difficult budget 
cuts and elected officials looking for rev- 
enue to help cover the cuts they've had to 
endure. In communities faced with fran- 
chise renewal there can often be a rush to 
settle in an effort to gel a quick influx of 
money. Mr. Ferrer is a great example of 
someone who was willing to draw the line 
in the sand. He tenaciously continues to 
act in the best interests of his con- 
stituents both in cable, broadband serv- 
ice and public access. 

Certainly one of the best parts of 
being the chair of this organization is that 
I get to meet ail kinds of interesting peo- 
ple who join us at the conference from all 
over the world. And for a shy guy like me, 
1 am grateful for the opportunity to get to 
know so many of our members. But there 
was a downside to my role as chair, I did- 
n't get to go to nearly as many sessions as 
I would have liked. So I am anxious to 
read about them and find out what other 
people found interesting. I'm confident 
you will be able to find useful informa- 
tion as well as inspiration in this issue of 
CMR. 

Bria n Wilson is chair of the Alliance for 
Community Media and a former PEG ED 
and currently a public policy, planning and 
compliance analyst for the City and County 
of San Francisco. Contact him at 
Brian. Wilson @sfgou. org. 

M7 



We've Changed! 

TiltRac Corporation has changed its 
name to Synergy Broadcast Systems. 



TILTRAC 

Asynergy 

^Wfr Broadcast Systems 



"We chose Synergy Broadcast Systems 
primarily because, quite simply, they 
listened when we explained our vision. 
Other vendors came to the fable with 
preconceived notions of solutions that best 
fit their own products and were only 
marginally a solution to our project. 
Synergy Broadcast listened to us and 
helped us design the best total solution." 



Tony Short, Director of Television Services 
at Bowling Green State University 




The Florida Department of Education 
chose the PEG-i-SYS System from 
Synergy Broadcast based on industry 
research and a desire to remain cost 
effective and have flexible expansion 
options." 

'm Bowman, Director, 
e Florida Knowledge Network 




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Community Media 
Seniors 



y»""jFffie following pages, we present a regional view of the sexagenarian, septuagenarian, and octo- 
V\/genarian members of our communities — who, at 60-plus years of age, are engaged in learning, 
f volunteerism and media access. 

Our own George Stoney opens this issue with personal comments on the special gifts seniors bring 
to community media. A trip around the nation follows: Barbara Tolstrup and Anne D'Urso-Rose pro- 
vide a volunteer/ staff perspective of seniors' involvement in public access in Maiden, Massachusetts. 
Joanne Fishbein describes the success of nearby Falmouth Community Television's partnership with 
SeniorNet Learning Centers. Jim Carney profiles the power of Bronxnet's approach to issues and event 
programming for the seniors of New York City. Ruth Glanz shares information on the growth of Second 
Half Strategies and development of Active Aging at Manhattan Neighborhood Network. Charles Kelsey 
reports on meeting the programming needs of seniors in 
rural western New York State. Dave Canaan extols PEG access 
in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. James Kenny introduces a 
senior of superstar proportions in Rye, New York. Erie, 
Pennsylvania's Card Table Connection team is the subject of , , , 7 

Jeanne Bleil's spotlight. Paul Joffrion guides us south to btlll Dl(lZlfl£ 1 V&llS 

Orange County, North Carolina and unveils the Department 

of Aging's dedication to those who have "surpassed their sixth decade." MJ Williamson focuses on an 
inter-agency partnership in Tampa, Florida that promotes safety and security for that community's 
elder citizens. Beth McKee acknowledges the talents and esprit de corps of Dallas Community 
Television's Senior Moments production team. Dave Hawksworth writes about two very special seniors 
in Salina, Kansas. Elaine Beck presents a profile of Iowa City, Iowa's Senior Center Television. Chicago's 
CAN TV 21 's Communications Coordinator Allan Gomez takes us down memory lane with The Senior 
Network's coverage of Those Were the Days Radio Players theater troupe. Ron Beacom, Felicia Jamison, 
and Chuck Peterson share stories of Michigan seniors who just "don't have the time to get old." Val 
Jeffrey in Cupertino, California and Judy Weitzner in Contra Costa, California explain how their com- 
munities' seniors are producing award-winning cable programming. Tony Kreig and Rita Barreras of 
Maui Long Term Care Partnership complement the issue with a feature on Akaku: Maui Community 
TV's role in improving access and coordination of elder care services in Hawaii. 

Also featured in this issue is a look back at the Tacoma conference. What a great event! The confer- 
ence section includes profiles of the Alliance and Director's Choice award winners, Wanda Baer's per- 
spective on public access's impact on her life, DeeDee HaUack's White Paper on Our Media, a report on 
the national board's team building and diversity training, jesikah maria ross's report on Tacoma's inno- 
vative community media for social change track — and, of course, pictures, pictures, pictures! 

Our thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to help us develop this issue. We're proud to 
have been involved with an issue that highlights the accomplishments of our senior volunteers. We 
know you'll see, as you read this issue, what a valuable resource your seniors can be! 

— Betty Francis and Bill Kirkpatrick, co-editors 



Betty Francis has been involved in educational access for the last eighteen years as a writer, producer 
and station manager. In her current role as an IT Planning Analyst for Montgomery College, she assists in the 

development of joint initiatives for Maryland's Montgomery County PEG Network. She can be reached at 
240.314.3141 or betty.francis@montgomerycollege.edu. Bill Kirkpatrick is a doctoral candidate in Media and 
Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation will be on localism and 
community in American political thought and media policy. 



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Seniors Bring More than 
'Special Needs' to Access 




Mr ' 'iff ■■fet, . 




fli 

They will be with us if we 
find ways to seek them 
out, adapt our training 
classes to their needs, and 
approach them as people 
with skills and knowledge 
rather than just as an 
isolated interest group. 



by George Stoney 

HAVING BEEN ACTIVE in the public 
access-to-cable TV movement since 1971, 
I have had the satisfaction of receiving 
calls from old friends who, in retirement, 
have "discovered" what I have been 
telling them about for years— that access 
is at the hub of community communica- 
tion. 

John Creedy, class of '39 at my alma 
mater University of North Carolina/ 
Chapel Hill, retired to Bennington, 
Vermont and found access an effective 
way to reach needed supporters for the 
school board Creedy had joined. His life- 
time as a journalist and public relations 
advisor for industry gave his weekly pre- 
sentations a professional polish without 
losing the in-person immediacy that he 
had never enjoyed as an advocate-for- 
hire. 

Theodore Conant, filmmaker, histori- 
an, and investment consultant in media 
for venture capitalists, retired to Hanover, 
New Hampshire. There he joined the 
access board and was soon doing his own 
programs as well as successfully steering 
the organization through a maze of nego- 
tiations for franchise renewal. 

Retirees by the hundreds of thou- 
sands, especially those who have 
changed their residency, have the need to 
make new connections as well as find 
new purposes for living, and can devote 
their professional skills as useful volun- 
teers to community access activities. As 
income from franchise fees shrinks, their 
volunteer services could prove a badly 
needed resource. They will be with us if 
we find ways to seek them out, adapt our 
training classes to their needs, and 
approach them as people with skills and 
knowledge rather than just as an isolated 
interest group. 

In one access center I visited a few 
years ago, I found women from a nearby 
retirement village had "adopted" the cen- 
ter, becoming its official hostesses as well 
as having a weekly program of their own. 
What kept them coming back was bath 



the camaraderie of working with their 
own group to make programs and the 
opportunity it afforded to know 
teenagers and young mothers who need- 
ed transportation. After watching for a 
few days f concluded that what made it 
work for all concerned was the friendly, 
neighborly atmosphere the center's small 
professional staff had created. The sen- 
iors felt comfortable about dropping in. 
They felt wanted. 

We seniors do have our own "special 
needs." Around the country one can find 
examples of effective programming to 
meet them. The American Association of 
Retired Persons (AARP) has sponsored its 
own series. At Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network (MNN). where 1 hang my hat, 
we have Age.- Wise, which features seniors 



with interesting careers as well as those 
addressing political, social, and medical 
topics (see Ruth Glanz's article on seniors 
at MNN in this issue). There is also the 
Lower East Side Oral History Project, 
which is recording stories with people 
who lived there long before it became a 
trendy Bohemia. 

For some years I have been trying to 
persuade the Alliance to sponsor a tape 
exchange that would make it easy for 
program-makers to share their work. 
Until such an arrangement is created, 
perhaps this journal could serve as a col- 
lecting point for programmers willing to 
swap tapes and experiences. 

Some programs that have caught my 
attention in the past few years include 
many about local history. In one town, 
two seniors meet weekly to detail the his- 
tory of some building in the downtown 
area, showing stills of those involved in 
its creation and anecdotes from their' 
own youth about what happened around 
town. In another, birthdays of tradesmen 
were celebrated — the barber, the retired 
school principal, the senior who spent 
much of his life conducting the high 
school band. These shows were mostly 
"live" with stills and occasional roll-ins 
that had been recorded on personally 
owned video rigs. 

Seniors have often been the mainstay 
of local peace activist groups, as I 
observed personally in upstate New York 
during the recent buildup to the war in 
Iraq. Thanks to Free Speech TV (FSTV), 
MNN has carried much material related 
to this activity. But I would welcome 
more individual testimony about com- 
mitment, the kind of thing that tends to 
get reduced to cliches in the editing of 
coverage, but becomes powerfully per- 
suasive when viewers and witnesses 
belong to the same place. We see what I 
am asking for at its best in the many 
tapes about Sister City exchanges linking 
Nicaragua and towns in the US. Tapes 
from Olympia, Washington and 
Burlington, Vermont cover activities 



I Alliance Website Gets a Makeover 

[ The Alliance for Community Media recently released their 



I gory-oasea menu leaxureo on me ictt s.ae 01 me wepsue. uuick 
links to the Legislative Action Center and Community Media 
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vVith this new look, the Alliance website also received new- 
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and products 

The new online forums, found in the Members Only section, 
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...the challenge is to 
encourage producers — 
including seniors — to see 
their opportunity to have 
their voices heard, show 
their collections of his- 
toric local photographs, 
tell others why and how 
they volunteer at the 
museum or hospital or 
the high school. 



going on since before 1982 when the 
Sandino Revolution inspired such 
hope. 

Reviewing these tapes gives one a 
realization of what it has meant for 
those involved to have— through Public 
access— a way of demonstrating to 
their families, neighbors and friends 
why they care and how they have found 
practical outlets for their caring. 

As a senior myself, I resent being 
thought of as a member of a special 
category. I don't like being isolated into 
special training classes or confined to a 
program slot reserved for my age 
group. Yet [ know that in some 
instances the camaraderie of an 
already-existing group can help sup- 
port and sustain an ongoing effort. In 
that case, attention should be given to 
just what that group has in mind. While 
visiting an access center some time 
ago, J recall seeing a group of seniors 
trudging out with a huge lot of equip- 
ment: lights, tripods, location moni- 
tor—the works. When I talked with 
them I discovered that all they wanted 
was training to do an in-studio show. 
When I asked the training officer about 
this his reply was: "We have rules about 
that. To qualify for a program slot you 
must pass the test for production in 
both studio and remote production. It 
does eliminate a lot of people, but if we 
didn't we'd never be able to accommo- 
date everyone who wants to get on our 
channels!" 

I made a somewhat similar mistake 
when training a group of seniors a few 
years ago. One in the group was partic- 
ularly skilled as a cameraman. Soon it 



was assumed he would be cameraman 
for all the shoots. But one day when a 
heated discussion was taking place I 
noticed he was bursting to get into the 
argument himself, and replaced him at 
the camera. After that I made sure the 
crew assignments were rotated. 

One policy that has discouraged 
much senior citizen-related program- 
ming (at least it has at MNN) is assign- 
ing all channel time on the basis of 
individually dedicated weekly or 
monthly slots. This allowed for no 
accommodation for the individual oral 
history that could serve as an obituary 
for a neighborhood leader, or a town 
"character," or even one's own grand- 
mother—the kinds of programming 
that can make cable access as intimate 
and important as local radio used to be 
before it was gobbled up by the con- 
glomerates, or as the local newspapers 
were before they became links in a 
chain. 

Recently at MNN we have decided 
to alter our long-standing "first-come, 
first-served" assignment of times, with 
strict adherence to a quarterly or half- 
yearly reservation by "curating" one of 
our four channels. (Please note that 
more than half the time is still assigned 
on the first-come, first-served basis.) 
This new arrangement will require 
more staff time to administer. But in 
my view we will be meeting a need that 
no other media outlet provides. 

Now the challenge is to encourage 
producers — including seniors — to see 
their opportunity to have their voices 
heard, show their collections of historic 
local photographs, tell others why and 
how they volunteer at the museum or 
hospital or the high school. I predict 
that from these contributors we will 
find more seniors who become dedi- 
cated to speaking about our concerns 
for both our special needs and for the 
common welfare. 

George Stoney is a documentary film- 
maker, community activist and video pio- 
neer. As a founding member of the Alliance 
For Community Media and a co-founder 
of the Alternate Media Center, he is known 
as the father of Public access cable televi- 
sion. He is on the board of directors at 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network and 
may be reached there by calling 
212.757.2670. 



Community Media Review 

Who Owns 
Our Media? 

Coming in the Winter 
Issue ofCMR 

The latest actions of the Federal 
Communications Commission and the 
Congress regarding concentration of 
media ownership have spurred a 
national debate not heard in recent 
years. 

Public interest groups from across 
the social and political spectrum have 
joined together in realizing that media 
ownership and control are essential 
concerns that underlie the power struc- 
ture of our society. 

Ultimately, the outcome of this 
debate will greatly influence how we 
communicate with each other. It will 
influence how we share our creativity, 
expression and ideas, and how we 
inform and educate using all media 
including television, radio, print and 
the Internet. 

The vanguard of media access and 
those concerned with diversity and 
localism will share their views in the 
upcoming issue of CMS. What defines 
"localism" in media? Is community 
access television the last bastion of 
local media? Who owns our media? 
What can we do about it? Check out the 
next issue of CMR to find out! 

If you're interested in providing an 
article or in suggesting ideas for the 
Winter CMR issue, please contact: Julie 
S. Omelchuck, 503.823.4188, 
julieo@ci.portland.or.us or Sean 
McLaughlin, 808.871.5554, 
sean@akaku.org. 

Deadline for articles is mid- 
December. 




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||jl|BjjWSj||jjBy F 

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Alliance for 

Communications 

Democracy 



Become an Alliance Subscriber for $350/year and receive detailed reports on 
current court cases threatening access, pertinent historical case citations, and 
other Alliance for Communications Democracy activities. 

>■ Voting membership open to non-profit access operations for an annua 
contribution of $3,000. 

> Assolcate, Supporter and Subscriber memberships available to organizations 

and individuals at the following levels: 

• Alliance Associate, $2500 - copies of all briefs and reports. 

• Alliance Supporter, $500 - copies of all reports and enclosures. 

• Alliance Subscriber, $350 - copies of ail reports. 

Direct membership inquiries to ACD Treasurer Rob Brading, 

Multnomah Community Television, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, OR 97038, 

telephone 503.667.7636, or email at rbradmg@mctv.org 



For more than 12 years, the 
Alliance for Communications 
Democracy has been fighting 
to preserve and strengthen 
access. Though the odds against 
us have been high, and the 
mega-media, corporate foes 
well-heeled and powerful, time 
and again we've won in the 
courts. We can't continue this 
critical work without your 
support. With the ramifications 
of the 1996 Telecommunications 
Act manifesting themselves, and 
new legislation on the horizon, 
we must be vigilant if we are to 
prevail and preserve democratic 
communications. If not us, who? 
If not now, when? Please join 
the Alliance for Communications 
Democracy today! 




Reports from Maiden and Falmouth in 
Massachusetts; the Bronx, Manhattan, 
Mayville, and Rye in New York; Radnor 
Township and Erie in Pennsylvania. 



Seniors: A Class Act 

by Barbara Tolstrup 

FOR MANY SENIORS, involvement with 
television is watching the "soaps" or tun- 
ing into their favorite game shows. For 
some of us Maiden, Massachusetts sen- 
iors, involvement with television has 
become the opportunity to view television 
and the world from behind the camera. 

In March 2001, 1 and six other senior 
women began attending a studio produc- 
tion class at MATV (Maiden Access 
Television). Taught by Anne 
D'Urso Rose, training direc- 
tor for the station, the class 
was formed to encourage 
Maiden's older citizens to 
become involved with their 
cable access station. 

Every Wednesday 
morning our group met to 
learn the different func- 
tions involved in producing 
a television program. We 
learned how to design a set, 
develop graphics for open- 
ing and closing credits, and 
write a script. We learned 
how to operate the studio 
cameras, run the audio and switcher 
boards, set up the mics and camera 
shots. We also tried our hand at floor 
direction, acting as talent, and serving as 
crew. In fact, all of us very quickly chose a 
particular area that we preferred. Loretta 
DeStefano immediately took to directing 
while Jaye Phillips, a hobby photogra- 
pher, chose to be behind the camera. 
Saroj Gandhi, an engineer by training, 
preferred the work involved in control 
room switching and audio, while Margie 
Myers and Dianne O'Brien preferred to 
circulate among the various roles. And 
although Helen Bisor was hesitant at First 
to find her niche, she wound up as the 
enthusiastic host of Seniors: A Class Act, 
the talk show format program we pro- 
duced as our graduation project. 

The class certainly helped me! I had 
volunteered at the station for a few 
months, but really had little knowledge of 
what goes on in the control room and on 
the floor. And this made me somewhat 



nervous, since I had just been asked to 
host a talk show called Maiden Square, a 
program about Maiden, its people and 
what's happening in the city. Enrolling in 
Anne's class provided me an insight into 
all the aspects of television production 
and prepared me to appear before the 
camera. 

When the class ended, we opted to 
stay together as a group and moved on to 
begin a class in field production. We went 
on some practice shoots and are now 
working our way through the process of 




Anns D'Urso, left, teaches switching. 



learning to edit. Our goal is to produce 
additional shows independently. We are 
contemplating producing Seniors: A Class 
Act on a monthly basis with talent and 
guests all being senior citizens — either 
from the class or from the community. As 
laye says, "We want A Class Act to be by 
seniors for seniors." 

Since our class "graduation," most of 
the class can now be found in the studio 
on Friday mornings when we tape 
Maiden Square. They have become an 
experienced and dedicated crew and 
some of us have also crewed for pro- 
grams such as Ask The Superintendent 
with Maiden School Superintendent Dr. 
loan Connolly. 

The group's involvement with the sta- 
tion has grown in other areas as well. 
Loretta has produced a couple of shows 
on the Iraqi War. She and Saroj also assist 
Liri Qirici, a MATV staff member who is 
physically disabled, on various projects. I 
have become producer of Maiden Square. 



Jaye and I also each do a monthly stint 
reading the station's Talking Bulletin 
Board, which airs MATV's weekly pro- 
gram schedule verbally for the benefit of 
visually impaired viewers. Margie and I 
take turn answering phones and working 
at the reception desk on Wednesdays. 

We may not be The Golden Girls, but 
we have become good friends and enjoy 
being involved with MATV. We all agree 
that our participation has been worth- 
while and that we have developed some 
new skills that, hopefully, we can use in 
the future as volunteers for Maiden 
Access Television. 



Barbara Tolstrup is retired from a career 
in advertising and public relations. She has 
been an active volunteer in various commu- 
nity and civic organizations. Currently, in 
addition to volunteering for MATV, she 
serves as chairperson of the Maiden- 
Historical Commission. She may be reached 
at htolstrup@msn.com. 

Senior Moments 
in Maiden, Mass. 

by Anne D'Urso-Rose 

I REMEMBER THE first day this dynamic 
group of senior ladies entered the control 
room of the MATV studio and surveyed 
the equipment. As I pointed out the 
audio board, there was a collective intake 
of breath and one said, "Look at all those 
buttons!" Underlying the reaction was 
the message, "How can we possibly learn 
how to use that?" 

"It looks intimidating," I said, "but 
you really only need to know what these 
few levers do." 

On that first day too, 1 remember 
Loretta in particular, and how her eyes lit 
up as I explained the directing position. 
"That's what I want to do," she said. And 
she did, and has, ever since. Loretta has 
gone on to direct her own studio produc- 
tion, a panel discussion program protest- 
ing the then imminent war in Iraq. And 
the rest of the apprehensive group has 
gone on to form the backbone of the pro- 
duction crew for Maiden Square, a pro- 
gram hosted by one of the ladies in the 
group, Barbara Tolstrup. 

My Wednesday morning classes with 

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this group of women— all in their late six- 
ties or seventies — were the highlight of 
my workweek. Threaded through the 
demonstrations of camera movement, 
winding cables, and rolling tape are sto- 
ries and discussion and laughter. Health 
problems and ailments are detailed and 
then laughed off with a shrug and throw- 
ing up of hands. It was then on to the 
business of choosing shots, testing 
sound, and cuing tapes for "roll-ins." 

1 think the fact that this group hap- 
pens to be all women has created an 
atmosphere of unself-conscious learning 
that helped them through their fears and 
nervousness over using technical equip- 
ment. It was wonderful to see their 
delight with mnemonic sayings like 
"RightyTighty, Lefty Loosey" (referring to 
which way to turn when screwing or 
unscrewing a piece of equipment) and 
the mastery it gave them over this new 
realm. 

And once the studio technology was 
mastered, and these women decided to 
produce the first Seniors: A Class Actpm- 
gram, they had great fun choosing their 
own set design! Together, they scoured 
the retail circulars for inexpensive wicker 
furniture, arranged plants and flowers, 
bowls of fruit, and picture frames. Of 
course, they learned it was not the same 
as decorating their own patio, as it all 
looked so different from behind the cam- 
era. Still, when all the camera shots were 
set up and the furniture arranged accord- 
ingly, their set had a decidedly warm and 
homey touch. 

When we moved on to portable pro- 
duction, I breathed a sigh of relief that 
the digital revolution had moved us away 
from the Panasonic 456s which would 
have been impossible for these women to 
work handheld for any significant length 
of time. Although our Canon ZR series 
may have buttons that can be a little hard 
to read, their miniature and lightweight 
design made it possible for these women 
to experience the power of being behind 
a video camera any place, anywhere. In 
fact, two of the group liked it so much 
that they bought cameras of their own. 
Digital editing, on the other hand, has 
proved to be the most difficult aspect of 
video production to teach this group: the 
women have varying levels of experience 
using a computer and peripherals such 
as a mouse. Using a mouse is a skill that, 
until it is fully mastered, can bog down 
the process of learning to put video clips 



together to tell a story. Jaye, one of the 
ladies who was having trouble with the 
mouse, revealed that she practiced at 
home with a bar of soap. As she pointed 
out, it has the same shape and feel! We've 
discovered that the touehpad on the 
iBook is actually easier for the women to 
operate and this has speeded up the 
learning process. 

Still, they are all determined to mas- 
ter the mouse because, as Jaye points 
out, it is much more common. And 1 
have no doubt that they all will. And that 
before long, every member of this group 
will be editing on dieir own— well, 
maybe with the others crowded around 
them. It's much more fun that way. And I 
truly look forward to that day, because 
these women all have stories to tell, 
interests to share, and wisdom to impart. 
Their voices, heard through the medium 
of television, will add a new dimension 
to the rich blend of voices on the MATV 
channel. 

Having older people fully involved in 
production at the station adds strong 



and colorful threads to the fabric of our 
community media center. I especially 
love when these ladies have teamed up 
with adolescents on short projects and 
shooting exercises. We hope to encourage 
and develop that sense of intergenera- 
tional collaboration, as our youth pro- 
gram grows and develops, along with our 
programs for seniors. 

1 can truly say that these women 
inspire me and have given me a refresh- 
ing perspective of growing older. They 
have also given me the joy of friendship. 
Saroj has cooked us spicy vegetarian food 
and hennaed our hands. Helen has cro- 
cheted us beautiful potholders and Jaye 
has bought us little treats for the holi- 
days. And they've all regaled me with sto- 
ries and often have made me blush. T 
only hope to be as engaged in volun- 
teerism, learning, and community life 
when I reach their age. 

Anne D'Urso-Rose is the training and 
outreach director for Maiden Access TV and 
can be reached at anne@matv.org 



Computer Training for Seniors in Falmouth 



by JoAnn Fishbein 

SENIORNET IS A national nom 
profit organization that teaches 
older adults how to take advan- 
tage of current, computer tech- 
nology and the Internet to 
enhance their lives. Since 1986, 
SeniorNet has grown from a 
small research project to an 
independent, volunteer-based 
collection of locally sponsored 
and operated computer learning 
centers for adults aged 50 and 
older. Today, SeniorNet has tens 
of thousands of members, from novice to 
expert, and hundreds of Learning Centers 
located across the United States, 

In the spring of 2001, John Magnani, 
the director of the Falmouth Senior 
Center and a board member of Falmouth 
Community Television (FCTV), 
approached FCTV Executive Director 
Debra Rogers to see if the access center 
would be interested in becoming a 
SeniorNet Computer Learning Center 
site. FCTV, an independent nonprofit cor- 
poration, is the management entity for 
Public and Government access television 
in Falmouth and also manages a commu- 




nity art gallery and small community 
computing center. Access to all forms of 
community communication is the mis- 
sion ol FCTV and with 50 percent of the 
population of Falmouth over the age of 
45, it appeared this could be a very good 
fit. Our current computer center was not 
working to capacity and we were seeking 
a new way to use our computer lab. The 
SeniorNet mode) looked like the ideal 
program for both our community at large 
and our access center, which has only 
three full time and two part time staff. 
SeniorNet w r ould provide all the software 
and curriculum. SeniorNet also located a 



sponsor willing to purchase computers, a 
scanner and printers in return for spon- 
sorship. 

As an independent computer trainer 
and consultant, I was approached by 
Debra and asked to attend the initial 
planning meeting. That first meeting, 
with representatives of FCTV SeniorNet 
and Tuffs Secure Horizon, resulted in the 
establishment of Cape Cod's only 
SeniorNet Computer Learning Center. 
Even though FCTV had a very small 
space for the computer center (six sta- 
tions total would fit), the national 
SeniorNet organization agreed to work 
with us. Tufts Secure Horizon agreed to 
sponsor the center, purchasing all the 
hardware needed and Cape.Com, a local 
Internet provider which had 
been donating free DSL and 
Internet access to FCTV for 
some time, agreed to gener- 
ously expand their services 
by sponsoring SeniorNet in Falmouth. 

The major condition that needed to 
be met by FCTV was finding 25 senior 
(50+) volunteers to manage the center. 
Bill Long, a longtime FCTV member and 
former Digital Equipment Corporation 
executive vice president, agreed to serve 
with me as co-coordinator. Within a short 
period of time, the 25 required volunteers 
were found and SeniorNet began their 
week-long training of our local volun- 
teers. 

And so, in June of 2001, a small group 
of mature computer users officially 
formed The SeniorNet Learning Center of 
Falmouth, as an affiliate of the national 
SeniorNet program and FCTV. Operated 
entirely by older adult volunteers from 
our local community, we at the Falmouth 
learning center were able to use the 
expertise of other learning centers, as 
well as the high-quality curriculum mate- 
rials prepared by specialists at the 
national SeniorNet headquarters. 
Following a well attended and exciting 
grand opening, classes officially began in 
August 2001. 

Some people take computer courses 
out of sheer intellectual curiosity. Others 
have a specific purpose in mind, for 
example, communicating with distant 
family members via the Internet, or writ- 
ing the family history and genealogy. In 
order to accommodate the diverse needs 
and wishes of the senior community, we 
offer a menu of the courses most fre- 



quently requested by older adults: mouse 
skills, introduction to computers, 
Internet, word processing, genealogy, 
Windows Basics and Quicken. Each 
course meets a once week for a two hour 
session and courses vary from four-weeks 
to eight-weeks in length. Class cost 
ranges from $20-$40 and all students 
must join the national SeniorNet organi- 
zation by paying an annual membership 
of $40. Membership in FCTV is not 
required but encouraged. 

SeniorNet curricula are tailored to the 
senior student body and updated regular- 
ly by the national organization. The 
"Fundamentals" course begins with the 
absolute basics, and subsequent courses 
systematically build on the student's skill 
and knowl- 
edge. At the 



SeniorNe 




Bringing Wisdom to the Information Age 



SeniorNet 
Learning 
Center of 

Falmouth, classes are limited to six stu- 
dents, each with his or her own computer 
to learn on. A knowledgeable teacher 
assisted by one to two coaches conducts 
classes. This is a teacher/ pupil ratio that 
insures personal attention. To elaborate 
on the class experience, students have 
access to the Learning Center computers 
during specified hours to practice at their 
own pace with lab monitors available to 
answer questions. 

Arthritic hands, diminished vision, 
hearing impairments can be a natural 
part of aging. Now technology is available 
for making computers more accessible to 
all. This past year, through the generosity 
of the Community Foundation of Cape 
Cod, our lab has been refurbished with 
new, more comfortable, economically 
correct chairs, optical mice and a 21 inch 
monitor. All of these acquisitions were 
made to make the lab more comfortable 
and accessible to all students. 
Additionally workshops are being offered 
on how to take advantage of new web 
adaptation software for internet access 
for visually and physically impaired. 

Today's younger people have grown 
up with computers and have easily 
learned to use them easily for play and 
work. Many older people feel left out of 
the novelty of computers and the 
Internet, passed by for lack of opportuni- 
ty, exposure and/ or training. By offering 
classes at an affordable cost, we at 
SeniorNet provide the opportunity to 



expose older adults to the concepts and 
techniques of computers and train them 
in a wide variety of practical computer 
applications. 

Management of the facility works 
very well. SeniorNet operates within 
FCTV but as kind of a subsidiary. Our 
SeniorNet volunteers coordinate every- 
thing from registration, purchasing, 
instruction, coaching, marketing and 
curriculum. The executive director of 
FCTV works with us to plan and control 
the budget and to do purchasing. At its 
inception, our volunteers developed poli- 
cies, which were approved by the FCTV 
Board of Directors. Ninety percent of all 
funds raised by our SeniorNet program 
go back into the center to update equip- 
ment with the other ten percent covering 
facility costs like electricity and cleaning. 

Having SeniorNet at FCTV has truly 
been a major success in every way. Our 
SeniorNet Learning Center is buzzing 
with activity on a regular basis and our 
SeniorNet volunteer staff has become a 
very valuable and appreciated resource at 
FCTV. 

JoAnn Fishbein has worked as a comput- 
er trainer and independent computer con- 
sultant for the past 18 years. She is cofounder 
and co-coordinator of the SeniorNet 
Learning Center of Falmouth. For more on 
SeniorNet, go to www.SeniorNet.org. For 
information on the Falmouth Center, contact 
JoAnn Fishbein at jmf@cape.com or Debra 
Rogers at deb@fctv.org 

You Should Live So Long 

by Jim Carney 

THIS IS NOT ONLY a folksy way of wish- 
ing someone longevity and luck, but 
since 1994, it is the title of a public access 
show airing weekly on Bronxnet. 
Bronxnet is the community access organ- 
ization serving over a quarter million 
cable subscribers in New York City. The 
program is indicative of an approach that 
Bronxnet undertook shortly after its 
launch over 10 years ago. Bronxnet 
sought out strategic partners, combining 
the expertise of nonprofit organizations 
in the Bronx and the powerful reach and 
potential of its four public access chan- 
nels. Because of the traditional lack of 
media devoted to issues important to 
senior citizens, the concept was a natu- 
ral. Despite a growing population of older 
Bronxites, information about services 
and resources available to seniors was 



18« 



difficult to come by. 

Services, But No Information. In 

1993, Bronxnet was envisioned as a differ- 
ent type of Public access center. From the 
very beginning, Bronx Borough President 
Fernando Ferrer and the original board of 
directors saw an unprecedented opportu- 
nity. The resources of a new access center 
on the Lehman campus of City University 
of New York, and four channels on the 
local Cablevision system, offered the pos- 
sibility of providing traditional Public 
access services, and targeted program- 
ming produced by Brorrxnet. In conjunc- 
tion with other nonprofit organizations, 
Bronxnet reached out to the residents of 
the Bronx to find out what type of pro- 
gramming they wanted on their commu- 
nity channels. One of the first and most 
obvious groups in need of service were 
the senior citizens of the Bronx. 

A two-pronged approach was devel- 
oped to create programming for and 
about Bronx seniors. On one hand, we 
created specific shows with strategic part- 
ners that featured seniors and senior 
advocates talking about what was Impor- 
tant to them. On the other hand, we cre- 
ated an "umbrella programming strategy" 
that would provide a platform for infor- 
mation and discussion of senior issues 
and events. 

You Should Live So Long!. The first 
program developed by Bronxnet was in 
partnership with the Hebrew Home For 
The Aging at Riverdale called You Should 
Live So Long. The show features weekly 
discussions of issues and segments deal- 
ing with real-life issues facing older Bronx 
residents. Programs devoted to nutrition, 
finance, eldercare, assisted living and 
other similar subjects provided first-hand 
accounts from local seniors as well as 
advice from experts designed to make 
older Bronxites live longer and better 
lives. According to Nelson Burros, director 
of the Hebrew Home's ACCESS Project 
and current host of the program, "We 
tried to get away from the common 'dis- 
ease of the week' approach and deal with 
practical living issues. We feel we have a 
responsibility to provide educational 
information to the community." 

The show, which has received awards 
for excellence from the American 
Association of Retired People and the 
New York Association of Homes and 
Services for The Aged, has a strong fol- 
lowing of senior viewers, but is also popu- 




Bronx senior Rafael Tricoche (seated, third from loft) teaches art classes 
at local senior centers and was featured in a Bronxnet documentary. 



lar with families of seniors and other 
caregivers. 

Aging Well. Another approach to 
reaching Bronx seniors evolved from a 
short segment contained in Bronxnet's 
daily live call-in public affairs show 
Bronxtalk AM. The two-hour show fea- 
tures interviews with Bronx newsmakers 
and community leaders, as wefl as fea- 
tures containing targeted information for 
different segments of the community. The 
Bronx-based nonprofit organization 
Aging In America was approached about 
providing a weekly "Senior Tip" dealing 
with matters important to older viewers 
and their families. Hosted by Dr. Bruce 
Hurwitz, the segments enlisted the partic- 
ipation of guests who would discuss their 
areas of expertise ranging from home 
health care services to public policy mat- 
ters. The popularity of the segment led to 
a weekly live program that takes live 
phone calls from seniors and their fami- 
lies. 

According to Dr. Hurwitz, "Having our 
own program allows us to focus in depth 
on the details of complicated and impor- 
tant issues. By having guests like the NYC 
Commissioner on Aging and the Borough 
President talking directly about senior 
issues, we raise the profile of these issues 
in the mind of the public." 

Special Productions. In addition to 
Bronxnet's traditional on air program- 
ming for seniors, the access center has 
taken a leading role in using television to 
support senior organizations in the 
Bronx. Annually, Bronxnet produces a 
number of video productions for organi- 
zations. Presentations include the Hearts 
& Hammers program, which organizes 



teams of volunteers 
who descend upon 
selected senior homes 
and devote a day of 
hard work to repairing 
and cleaning their 
homes and a video 
"annual report" for 
Regional Aid for inter- 
im Needs, Inc. senior 
services, which has 
used the programming 
to increase awareness, 
fund raising and volun- 
teerism. 

In conjunction 
with the Haym 
Solomon Foundation, 
Bronxnet produced two 
highly acclaimed documentaries that told 
the oral histories of elder Bronxites. 
Produced by Bronxnet's Audrey Duncan, 
the "Bronx Trailblazers" project detailed 
the memories of immigrants from all over 
the world and how they overcame hard- 
ships to become an integral part of the 
Bronx community. 

Seniors at the Helm. An important 
aspect of how Bronxnet deals with issues 
important to older residents comes from 
a commitment to having seniors partici- 
pate in the creation of programming. A 
founding member of Bronxnet's Board of 
Directors is Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. 
Among other credits, the octogenarian is 
an alumnus of the legendary World War II 
flying aces, the Tuskegee Airmen. He also 
has served as president of Bronx 
Community College and has hosted his 
own PBS series on historic African- 
Americans. He has made considerable 
contributions to the overall development 
of Bronxnet programming. 

Bronxnet also drew J. J. Gonzalez — a 
legendary street reporter and one of the 
first Latino television reporters in 
America— out of retirement to head up 
Bronxnet's News and Public Affairs pro- 
gramming. Under Gonzalez' leadership, 
young producers developed sensitivity to 
matters important to seniors and the 
older perspective was included in all of 
the programs he created. 

Spanish Programming. Perhaps the 
most dramatic example of the impact 
public access programming can have is 
with the Spanish- speaking community. 
Generally, Spanish-speakers in the U.S. 
have limited options when it comes to 

«9 



media. When you consider the plight of 
Spanish speaking seniors, there is virtual- 
ly nothing available. The Bronxnet live 
call-in program Dialogo Con Glenis, regu- 
larly deals with issues important to older 
Latinos. According to Luis M. Vasquez, 
executive director of RAIN Sen/ices for 
Senior Citizens, who has made numerous 
appearances on the show, "Our phones 
light up after appearing on Glenis's show. 
The show provides us an opportunity to 
reach a part of our community which 
desperately needs these sendees." 
Program host Glenis Henriquez is an 
educator who feels strongly about bring- 
ing these stories to older Bronx Latinos. 
"In areas such as elder abuse, Spanish- 
speaking seniors do not know that they 
have any options," she said. "In my com- 
munity' there is no one else talking about 
these issues and the options that are 
available to deal with them." 

Jim Carney is assistant professor of mul- 
tilingual journalism and mass communica- 
tion at City University of New York's Lehman 
College and until last September served as 
executive director of Bronxnet for nine years. 
He may he contacted at JIMBXNT@aol.com. 

Volunteer Seniors 
In Action at MNN 

Br Ruth Glanz 

WHILE INTERVIEWING PETE Seeger in 
1998, he said, "Volunteering is fun! You're 
just doing a little job, but you see the 
results of your work." 

That is precisely the philosophy 
under which our group of volunteers in 
New York City operates. 

In 1997, a core group of four video 
professionals got together to produce a 
monthly program series under the aus- 
pices of AARP called Second Half 
Strategies. Over a period of six years, we 
produced 65 half- hour programs at 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network. We 
are all in our senior years and were 
able to recruit about 15 more people, 
most of whom had no previous experi- 
ence in television, but were eager to learn 
new skills. 

Manhattan Neighborhood Network 
(MNN) gave most willingly of their time 
and expertise to help us train our crew. 
We became so involved with the work- 
ings of the network that I was asked to be 
on the board and have enjoyed that 
honor for the past five years. MNN is now 
in the process of converting to digital 

2omu 



equipment, and we are all excited about 
that. 

The programs, produced under 
Executive Producer Al Markim, consisted 
of issues important to AARP each month. 
We would interview AARP experts or oth- 
ers for the first half of the program about 
issues affecting Medicare, Social Security, 
caregiving, consumer protection, etc. We 
stayed within the mission statement of 
AARP i.e. "To educate New Yorkers, who 
are 55-plus, about the primary legislative 
and social issues that affect their lives." 

In the second half of each program, 
we invited a role model, someone in his 
or her later years, who is still doing vital 
and creative work. Frankly, the role mod- 
els were the most fun for us. We inter- 
viewed Mayor Ed Koch, Steve Allen, 
Celeste Holm, Kim 
Hunter, George 
Stoney, Joe Franklin, 
Ned Rorem, a couple 
in a nursing home 
who fell in love, and 
many other notables. 

Each program was 
duplicated and sent by 
AARP to 75 Public 
access stations all over 
New York state. Some 
of the stations would 
repeat these same 
monthly programs 
every r week. Second Half Strategies won 
several awards recognizing excellence in 
cable access programming. The program 
is the recipient of the Manhattan 
Neighborhood Network Award for 
Community Media and a multiple-year 
winner in the Alliance for Community 
Media Hometown Video Festival Awards. 

After almost six years with AARP, the 
group has decided to go a different route, 
and we have a new mission: "To improve 
the negative image of our aging popula- 
tion in the media through the positive 
portrayal of our cumulative experiences, 
talents, and dynamic activities." We feel 
that although people over 65 are the 
fastest growing segment of our popula- 
tion, seniors and their concerns are 
under-served in the broadcast media. We 
seek to encourage change in this attitude 
Our goal is to present a counterimage of 
aging, one that portrays a vibrant, enthu- 
siastic approach to all aspects of living, 
and one that offers our viewers the 
opportunity to see older people embrac- 
ing new challenges and participating 



dynamically in all aspects of our society. 

Our new plan is to produce four one- 
hour magazine style programs each year, 
The programs will air quarterly on MNN 
and we envision Public access exposure 
on 10 metropolitan area stations. Each of 
these quarterly specials will contain three 
segments, dealing in depth with perti- 
nent issues such as: 

A Reality and myth in the aging of 
America 

A The media and its youth bias 
A Intergenerational experiences 
A Senior contributions to our culture 
A Lifelong continuing education 
A Spirituality and sensuality 

Health concerns 
A Seniors as world travelers 
. . .and many others. 




Barbara Rubin at the audio board, with Ruth Glanz and Mitch Rein. 



In conclusion, we will confront the 
popular image of aging, which is largely 
myth-based, and present instead a posi- 
tive counter-image through the inspiring 
presentation of our role models. 

Because all of our crew are trained 
volunteers, some of them having their 
own digital equipment, and because 
MNN is graciously providing us with the 
essential recording facilities, we hope to 
be able to produce these programs very 
economically. However, we do require 
some hinds, primarily for videotape, 
transportation, etc. We are presently in 
the process of applying for funding. 

We plan to air our first show in the fall 
of 2003. Our working title is Active Aging. 



Ruth Glanz began her career al Hunter 
College, CUNY, in 1969, where she received 
her Masters Degree, made video programs 
for the college, and taught video production. 
She then spent many years in the corporate 
world as a director of audiovisual communi- 
cations. She is now in her own freelance 
business. She can be reached at 
ruthglanz@aol.com. 



Mayville Senior Report 
in its Eighth Year 

by Charles L. Kelsey 

THIS PAST AUGUST, Reed Powers com- 
pleted show #412 of Senior Report with 
Reed Powers. Powers originated the con- 
cept for this one-hour, live call-in pro- 
gram on radio in the New York City area 
while he was teaching school on Long 
Island. When he retired and relocated to 
his old hometown ofWestfield, New York, 
he continued his radio version of Senior 
Report on a Dunkirk, New York radio sta- 
tion. Then, in 1995, the radio program 
ceased and Powers migrated Senior 
Report over to Access Channel 5's pro- 
gramming line-up. 

Although the show has evolved over 
the years, Powers has carried forward his 
radio tradition of opening the program 
with a song called Trumpet Tune along 
with a cheerful and enthusiastic "Good 
Morning! Good Morning! What a beautiful 
day!" He reports local news, news about 
local senior citizen clubs, and 10 minutes 
into the show goes to a public service 
announcement, following the PSA. 
Powers introduces Morton Flexer, affec- 
tionately called "the geezer." Flexer, a 78- 
year old, retired hospital administrator 
then gives a five-minute editorial. 

Following the geezer's report, Powers 
encourages viewers to take a moment to 
relax and meditate. A photo of a tranquil 
scene or a flower is then shown along 
with some soft music as Powers leads into 
the spot with the comment "and remem- 
ber, you are number one in this whole 
universe." 

About 20 minutes into the hour, he 
introduces the guest. While topics are 
generally of a "senior citizen" flavor, it is 
not unusual to be of interest to all ages. 
Viewers call in to ask questions, make 
comments, wish someone a happy birth- 
day, or talk about whatever they want. As 
Powers is quick to remind viewers, "This 
is your show, your magic carpet to the air- 
waves." 

Phone calls are screened in the con- 
trol room by Mort Flexer ("the geezer") 
and placed on hold. Powers is cued in his 
IFB earpiece that a caller is waiting. The 
program receives anywhere from two to 
six calls each week. 

Local elected officials arc often times 
guests on the program — our state senator, 
state assemblyman, Congressman, coun- 




U.S. Congressman Jack Quinn (left) and Host Reed Powers (right) on 
the set for Senior Report with Reed Powers. 



ty executive, county sheriff and district 
attorney are some of the regulars. Once 
in awhile a guest will show up late, or 
not at all. However, the show always goes 
on. (One time someone just stopped by 
to watch and ended up pinch hitting for a 
no-show guest!) 



Here at Access 
Channel 5, we consider 
Senior Report with Reed as 
our 'flagship' program. We 
began producing this show 
less than a month following 
the start-up date of the 
facility, and since that time, 
there's no sign of Reed's 
program losing popularity 
with the 5,200 cable sub- 
scribers that Access 
Channel 5 serves in rural 
western New York State. 



Charles L. Kelsey is a 29-year employee of 
the Village of Mayville, New York where he is 
village clerk, Kelsey serves as executive direc- 
tor of Access Channel 5, an unpaid, volun- 
teer, part-time position. He has served as ED 
since the station began in 1995. Kelsey may 
be contacted at kel.sey@tnadbbs.com. 



'the biggest communication bang for the buck' 



by Dave Cannan 

"PEG ACCESS GIVES us the biggest com- 
munications bang for the buck." 

The following comments come from 
Radnor Township Commissioner Dave 
Cannan. In cooperation with township 
commissioners from adjacent municipali- 
ties in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 
and co-producers Chip Lay field, and John 
Haines St: of Radnor Studio 21, Commis- 
sioner Cannan produces monthly tri- 
township senior forums. The programs air 
on Radnor's public access channel and 
Marple and Haverford Township's govern- 
ment access channel. A tape copy of the 
forums is aired on the local cable 
provider's leased access channel (when 
space is available) and takes the commis- 
sioners' message beyond, the tri- township 
area to the entire county and a potential 
150,000 homes. 

I consider communication to be job 
number one for local government. As an 
elected official, I try to identify the needs 
of our residents and then, in a fiscally 
responsible way, try to meet those 
needs. But passing ordinances or ere 
ating new services just isn't enough. 
The residents have to know to know 
what services are available and how 
to access them. 

Going on my regular door-to- 
door visits to constituents (many of 
whom are seniors) we talk about 
their various needs for community 



services. I was flabbergasted that they 
were not aware of what was already in 
place and available to them. I knew that 
something had to be done. 

I think PEG access gives us the 
biggest communications bang for the 
buck because it allows us to bring some 
peace-of-mind to our seniors who worry 
after putting in a lifetime of work that 
they will have to go it alone. They are 
almost always surprised to learn about 
the support systems of municipal, county 
and state advocacy and support pro- 
grams that are already in place. 

As with all PEG access productions, it 
is a lot of work. But working with like- 
minded cable access volunteers, It is pos- 
sible to provide an invaluable public 
service to a much broader audience. We 
could not do it without our PEG access 
channels. And that is why we fight so 
hard to keep them. 



Radnor Township Commissioner Dave 
Cannan may be contacted at 
davecannan@aol.com 




©fKI 



Over-achiever Inspires Others in Rye, New York 




by James Kenny 

Editor: " CAffi is looking for articles 
on seniors in access, do you think we 
should do an article on John?" 

Production Coordinator: "Sure, but 
I'm not going to be the one to tell John 
he's a senior!" 

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER with John Carey 
was just a black and white photo of him 
hanging on the wall in our city hall, hater 
on I heard more about his theatrical side 
as the City of Rye's 
first democratic 
mayor in the city's 
history, He appar- 
ently saved his the- 
atrics for outside 
the city council 
meetings: skate- 
boarding behind 
city hall in "testing 
the factual basis for 
the police chief's 
unilateral edict for- 
bidding all skateboarding by anyone, 
anywhere in Rye," and demonstrating the 
dangerous sliding doors on the local 
trains using a prosthetic leg, or was it an 
arm? I regret that these events happened 
long before the proliferation of portable 
video cameras — they would have made 
for great community access TV! 

John has had a long and distin- 
guished career. He served in the Navy 
during WWII in the Atlantic, European 
and Pacific theatres of operation, mostly 
hunting submarines. From there it was 
on to Yale for a bachelor's degree, closely 
followed by a law degree. He became an 
assistant district attorney, then a partner 
in a law firm for 26 years, got another law 
degree from NYU Law School, became 
the editor of the United Nations Law 
Reports, was elected to the Rye City 
Council twice as a councilman, and twice 
as mayor, and finally became a New York 
state judge. 

But I like to think that John's real 
career didn't begin until he found public 
access television, or rather, it found him. 
His stint as a judge gave him all the quali- 
fications he needed to land the job as 
scorekeeper on What's Your Rye Q?, a quiz 
show on local history. His role quickly 
expanded into acting out local historical 
scenes on which the contestants were 
questioned — the most memorable char- 

22mu 




acter being his impersonation of Martha 
Washington, complete with bonnet, 
shawl and high-pitched voice (think 
James Earl Jones imitating Madonna). 

Sometime later, John, tired of playing 
Martha lo someone else's George, decid- 
ed to produce his own show. It wasn't an 
elaborate production, just an interview 
program using our standard set. He uti- 
lized a crew made up of local Boy Scouts 
who were offering production assistance 
to anyone who needed it. Soon John 
expanded into 
portable produc- 
tion, taping the 
Sunday sermon at 
his church each 
week. A little bit of 
production 
momentum 
became production 
freight train almost 
overnight. 

John does 
nothing halfway. He borrowed all our 
editing books and manuals. He began 
editing on our Globecaster, then moved 
on to our Final Cut Pro system. He 
bought his own editing software and 
edited at home until a software upgrade 
crashed his system. He thinks big. Back 
in the studio he started using his contacts 
at the United Nations and began his 
series, Last Month at the U.N., and then 
offered it to other access stations through 
the Alliance Listserv. He felt that what 
happens at the U.N. is all but ignored by 
mainstream media and he could help fill 
that gap. The production values are not 
network quality, but the content is 
superb, and the director is a 14-year-old 
Eagle Scout. 

John was recently appointed to the 
City of Rye's Cable Committee. Not only 
did we finally get the perspective of an 
access producer on the committee, but 
we also gained a superior legal mind. 
John joined the Alliance and he paid his 
own way to attend the national confer- 
ence in. Tacoma. He is now on our fran- 
chise renewal negotiation team and is 
researching the finer points of franchise 
renewal like an over-eager law school 
student preparing his first article for a 
law review. 

Every access center has (or needs) an 
"over achiever" like John. His work as a 



producer has inspired others. His pro- 
ductions are sent across the country to 
share under-represented views with oth- 
ers, and now his latest endeavor is to 
help shape access in this community for 
the life of next franchise agreement. 

What makes John special is not that 
we can label him as a "senior" who has 
contributed to better access television in 
this community but that we don't think 
of him as a senior at all. He may have 79 
years behind him, but he is not excep- 
tional because of his age. He is excep- 
tional because he values access enough 
to devote a significant, portion of his time 
to it, and when I call him on his cell 
phone he takes a break from his morning 
run to answer my call: two things that 
demonstrate the reverence he has for 
communication. 

James Kenny is the cable TV coordinator 
for the City Of Rye, New York, operating both 
Public and Government access channels for 
Rye for the past 16 years. He may be contact- 
ed at jkenny@ryeny.gov. 

The Amazing Grays 
in Erie, Pennsylvania 

by Jeanne Bleil 

EVERYONE WHO WORKS at a public 
access television station fields telephone 
calls and has discussions with walk-in 
visitors about what it takes to get a pro- 
gram on the channel. Some of those con- 
versations result in very fruitful relation- 
ships, including the discussion I had with 
Father Dan Dymski in the spring of 2000 
here at Community Access Television in 
Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Father Dan was more assertive than 
your average caller. Although respectful 
of my time and the needs of other mem- 
bers, before I knew it Father had talked 
me into hosting three meetings in our 
studio during precious evening hours for 
people who might be interested in help- 
ing to produce a program for senior citi- 
zens. Over the course of the next three 
months, 1 watched as dozens of seniors 
attended brainstorming meetings where 
they planned what became a 501 (c)3 
nonprofit organization called The Card 
Table Connection and a new program 
called Around the Card Table. 

Realizing that many older adults put 
more credence in what their peers tell 
them than in what they read or see on 
television, and visualizing people sitting 
around a bingo or card table talking 



about all kinds of issues that are of spe- 
cial concern to them, the group decided 
to name the program Around the Card 
Table and to exclusively use senior citi- 
zens as hosts and guests. Three years and 
more than 100 programs later, this very 
successful group is reinventing itself as 
Amazing Grays. 

To finance their venture, The Card 
Table Connection approached a local 
philanthropist and a large nonprofit 
nursing and assisted living facility for 
start-up funding. Although everyone con- 
nected to it is a volunteer, funding was 
necessary for annual membership dues, 
tapes, props and set design, postage, and 
many other not so incidental things. They 
successfully applied to the local commu- 
nity foundation for further funding, part 
of which purchased their own external 
hard drive for one of CATV's editing sys- 
tems. 

This is a very efficient team effort, 
with an average of 15 people involved at 
any one time. Decisions about program 
topics are made by vote at regularly 
scheduled meetings that take place either 
in the CATV studio or in our so-called 
"cafeteria." The studio is reserved well in 
advance in big blocks of time 
and one member of the group 
is assigned to be the main 
point of contact for the hosts 
and guests. 

And you should see this 
place on one of their produc- 
tion days. Shortly after we 
open our doors at 8:30 a.m., 
the crew starts pouring in. 
Between the six or seven mem- 
bers present on an average day 
and the hosts and guests that 
come and go, our parking lot 
and lobby are busy all day long. 
This group really typifies what 
public access is all about. From the day 
they finished Level I training on a fairly 
typical learning curve, this group has 
been functional and productive. It is a 
large enough group that it can deal with 
several snowbirds, who are absent during 
the winter months, and with the occa- 
sional illness or surgery that keeps some- 
one out for a period of time. 

There is nothing that someone in the 
group cannot do. We have watched all of 
the members advance in their skills, but 
it is particularly gratifying to watch how 
many of them have blossomed. One 
retired grandmother told me, "I never in 




Lois Bartos strikes a pose 
in front of CATV. 



a million years would have guessed that a 
few months after attending that first 
meeting I would be climbing a ladder in 
your studio to move lights around." They 
do everything that is needed, rarely call- 
ing upon a staff member for assistance. 

What is the pro- 
gram about? Around 
the Card Table is 
geared toward older 
adults and caregivers 
and strives to both 
provide information 
on health, legal, 
financial, and other 
topics, and to profile 
older adults who lead 
active and interesting 
lives. Musicians, dancers, roller skaters, 
artists and actors have all been inter- 
viewed on the program. One particularly 
interesting show featured the Erie 
Clowns, including Zoey, who transformed 
herself on camera with makeup and cos- 
tume, and an 80-year-old Chuckles. 
Crews travel to health fairs, picnics, skat- 
ing rinks, and festivals all over the Erie 
area to acquire footage for use in their 
program. Past topics include driver safe- 
ty, quilting, herbs, caregiver 
issues, fitness, bereavement, 
bird watching, and elder law. 
They even held a memorable 
senior style show. The group 
plans to interview local 
authors and perhaps begin a 
collectibles corner. They have 
recently decided that their 
skills have improved to the 
point where they can feature 
one time -sensitive program a 
month, highlighting upcoming 
events of interest to seniors. 
Up until now, most programs 
have been "evergreen," with 
topics that can be viewed at any time, 
thus freeing them from deadline pres- 
sures. 

Around the Card Table, soon to 
become Amazing Grays, is shown six 
times a week on Channel 2 and is also 
shown on the same schedule on a neigh- 
boring cable system. Area nursing 
homes, retirement centers and assisted 
living facilities receive the program line- 
up to post and distribute to their resi- 
dents, and the local newspaper carries 
the program listing in its weekly commu- 
nity events publication. 

What has it meant to our community 




Bernice Bronakoski directs from the remote 
truck. 



and to Community Access Television to 
have The Card Table Connection as 
members? This uniquely local program 
targeted to a large audience that tends 
toward isolation is extremely valuable not 
only to older adults and their caregivers 
but also to the agen- 
cies and organiza- 
tions that are fea- 
tured. As important 
as the information it 
provides is the inspi- 
ration of watching 
active seniors doing 
what they love. And 
to a person, each 
member of the The 
Card Table 
Connection has been enriched by their 
personal involvement and has made life- 
long friends. 

For Community Access Television, the 
seniors are among the most active, 
involved, and supportive of ail of our 
members. Jim Globa, the current CTC 
chair, was elected to our board of trustees 
three years ago and serves as its current 
chair. Lois Bartos, who is perhaps the 
most organized and persistent person I 
know, not only books their hosts and 
guests and acts as secretary to the group, 
but also has, for two years in a row, 
solicited donations for our huge Chinese 
Auction, Sandy Globa helps out in our 
reception area when asked and Jim Globa 
and Ed Whitbred both attend orienta- 
tions to talk to prospective members. 
Bernice Bronakoski and Lois Bartos 
helped us collate and staple hundreds of 
member handbooks, and all of the group 
members bring dishes to potluck events. 
And what of Father Dan? From the begin- 
ning, Father Dan told me that his inten- 
tion was to give the group two years of 
his time and leadership. Father Dan, the 
program's first host, has gradually cut 
back his involvement. However, every 
few months, I hear a distinctively mellow 
voice from the lobby saying, "Jeanne, are 
you in there? May I come back?" and he 
comes back to my office to check in and 
make sure that everything is going well. 
As far as we are concerned, things could 
not be going better. 

Jeanne BMl is executive director of 
Community Access Television, the Public 
access station in Erie, Pennsylvania, and can. 
be reached at 814.454.2226 or jbleil@cattv- 
erie.org. 

©il23 



Reports from Hillsborough, North Carolina; 
Tampa, Florida; and Dallas, Texas 



In Praise of 
Age and You 

by Paul Joffrion 

PICTURE THIS: the newspaper 
headline answers the question 
before it could be asked. A 
woman steps in front of the 
mirror to straighten her hair 
and surprises herself with the 
loveliness she sees. A man 
places the telephone receiver 
back on the cradle, concluding 
an unanticipated though wel- 
come phone call from an old 
friend. A young child peels back 
the orange- canvas wrapping of 
a fresh tangerine, releasing a tangy squirt 
of citrus delight. What do we see? 
Information, self- reflection, connection, 
senses awakened: the lights are on, and 
everyone is home. 

That's how 1 think of In Praise of Age, 
Orange County (NC) Department of 
Aging's 30-minute series that began its 
third year of production last. January. It is 
dedicated to the interests, experiences, 
and issues of older adults, and it works to 
counter the perspective that views 
"aging" or "growing old" as a life-stage to 
be dreaded. This perspective is perhaps 
best encapsulated in thousands of birth- 
day greeting cards on the market that 
depict progression in age as an inevitable 
rendezvous with physical, mental or 
emotional deterioration, and implicitly, 
diminished quality of life. The greeting- 
card portrayal, despite its tongue-in- 
cheek effort at humor, reflects a lack of 
imagination and a more deeply-held 
belief within our culture that misrepre- 
sents or devalues the aging process, and 
the lives of those adults who progress fur- 
ther in their lives. Through the voices of 
both lay and professional guests, In 
Praise of Age addresses those policy 
issues, programs, services, or community 
events and initiatives that are relevant to 
the interests of all older adults. 

What does it mean to be "In Praise of 
Age"? One hundred and thirty segments 
of this show have attempted not to 
define, but rather to describe, depict, 

24« 




Host Jerry Passmore (far left) speaks with 92-year old Ella Carver about her par- 
ticipation in Hillsborough's walking program. Captain Jacobs and Officer 
Foushee, who sponsor the "Stroll Patrol," listen in. 



experience and display what it can mean. 
In Praise of Age could be synonymous for 
"In appreciation of life," and of the lives 
of those who have surpassed their sixth 
decade. The show has featured Gina 
Upchurch, director of Senior 
PharmAssist, who, with University of 
North Carolina's School of Social Work 
Professor Florence Soltys, examined the 
hard facts of prescription medication 
costs and management of complex med- 
ication regimes. R.D. and Euzelle P. Smith 
guided host Rhoda Wynn through an 
annotated tour of their combined contri- 
bution of 70 years' service to public edu- 
cation locally and in other communities. 
Robert Seymour and William Gould 
explored issues of hope and meaning in 
the midst of tragedy and despair, after 
the September If , 2001 attacks. 
Renowned singer, pianist and UNC music 
instructor Terri Rhodes led host Elmer 
Oettinger in a reprise of She's My kissing 
Cousin. Information, self-reflection, con- 
nection, senses awakened. 

In Praise of Age crewmember Eva 
Metzgar has been involved with the show 
since Its inception. "I got interested in 
video 10 to 12 years ago, because I fig- 
ured with video anyone could make 
movies." Crewmember Jeff Fallier brings 
the most professional experience to the 
show. He served as an "official U.S. War 
Photographer" during World War II, and 
attended the "first TV school in America, 
as a student instructor" in 1950. Fallier 



encourages would-be volun- 
teers to step forward. 

Octogenarian Brad Johnson 
heard about In Praise of Age 
while taping performances of 
the Village Review (a local per- 
formance troupe comprised of 
seniors). Invited to help, he has 
assisted with production ever 
since. Frank Leith also has 
worked with the show for a 
long lime. "It's a great group of 
people putting on the shows," 
he says, "We have a lot of fun. If 
you screw up, you don't get 
sfiot. . .The shows that are done, 
you learn a lot. There's an 
opportunity to chat with the guests after- 
ward, and the food is great. ..one of the 
perks!" 

While the crew — Orange County resi- 
dents, and the Peoples Channel of Chapel 
Hill subscribers — are the local compo- 
nent of the series' admirers, there's a 
national component of admirers as well: 
in the past year, the Orange County 
Department Aging has presented 
episodes from In Praise of Age to enthusi- 
astic audiences at both the North 
Carolina Conference on Aging in 
Greensboro and the Joint American 
Society on Aging & National Council on 
the Aging National Conference in 
Chicago. 

Where in. the same room can you 
meet a man who interviewed Eleanor 
Roosevelt, meet an 87 -year- old woman 
who has enough race-walking trophies to 
fill a room, learn about health, wellness, 
and Medicare, and then meet the woman 
who, with her husband, helped start the 
NC Symphony? In your living room, of 
course! Every Saturday evening In Praise 
of Age unwraps a new story about life as 
an older adult. Pull up a chair, The lights 
are on, and everyone is home. 

Paul Joffrion, MSW, may he contacted at 
pjoffrion@co-orange.nc.us or at 919.957.3545 
(Orange County Department nf Aging, 
Hillsborough, NC) for information, encour- 
agement or guidance about capturing the 
past, present and future for the benefit of 
older adults in your community. 



Programming for the Elderly Featured in Tampa 



BY MJ WlLUAMSOU 

IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, and other com- 
munities across the country, senior citi- 
zens are far too frequently the victims of 
violence, property crime, telephone 
fraud and other scams. Savvy criminals 
take advantage of loneliness or naivete 
on the part of seniors— many of whom 
are widows who grew accustomed over 
their lifetimes to their now- departed 
husbands taking charge of family 
finances. In response to the special vul- 
nerability of this generation, law 
enforcement officials locally and nation- 
ally began meeting some 15 years ago to 
share information under the banner 
Triad — an inter-agency agreement 
between AARP and the sheriff and police 
departments in overlapping jurisdic- 
tions. The Triads, in turn, expanded the 
concept to include senior leaders and 
service agencies, and the SALT (Seniors 
and Law enforcement Together) coun- 
cils were bom. 

The Tampa/Hillsborotigh SALT 
Council meets once a month, and 
includes representatives from five local 
law enforcement agencies, AARP, the 
Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels, 
and more than a dozen other service 
providers, including Tampa Bay 
Community Network (TBCN), our area's 
Public access television facility. In 
March 2003, the group's executive com- 
mittee met to set the agenda for the 
monthly meeting, and entered into a 
discussion over special events for Older 
Americans Awareness Month in May. 
The group's goal was two-fold: to raise 
awareness in the community at large 
that May was set aside to honor our 
nation's seniors and renew pledges to 
protect and to serve them, and to pro- 
vide some extra measure of service to 
assist the area's elderly people. 

The Tampa/Hillsborough SALT 
Council participates in frequent com- 
munity seniors' fairs and similar events, 
to share information with the public and 
pass out "goodies," such as key rings and 
medicine vials. The group considered 
talcing on another such event, but there 
was a desire to do something really spe- 
cial, something different that could pro- 
vide lasting value to the whole commu- 
nity. Something like.. .a television show! 



But no, the group decided, a single 
show wasn't big enough to suit their 
growing ambitions. Could there be a 
mini-series devoted to the needs of sen- 
iors? There could be, and there would 
be. SALT Council leadership, blissfully 
unaware of the size of the task they had 
undertaken, began to plan a series of 
five specials, to be cablecast each 
Saturday morning in May, devoted to 
bringing information to area seniors and 
their caregivers. A local volunteer was 
recruited to act as host to each of the 
shows, which would also use distinctive 
set pieces, so that the shows would be 
visually linked to provide continuity for 
viewers. A shoot schedule was tentative- 
ly adopted, and the whole project was 
brought back to the membership for 
approval. Meanwhile, Hillsborough 
County Sheriff's Detective Georgia 
Vietch, a specialist in crimes against the 
elderly, gamely dove in to the task of 
recruiting expert guests for each seg- 
ment. 

The first show provided viewers with 
an overview of the SALT Council. It fea- 
tured appearances from past Council 
presidents and from Hillsborough 
County Sheriff Cal Llenderson, whose 
signature appears on the original local 
Triad agreement. The SALT Council has 
for many years distributed the File of 
Life — an easily located red vinyl enve- 
lope that is stored in users' refrigerators 
and wherein crucial information about 
medical history and drug precautions 
are readily available to rescue workers. 
Viewers learned that first-response 
emergency workers are trained to look 
for the Files, and also how the Files 
could be obtained. Because the Council 
had worked with local seniors' maga- 
zines and residential facilities, viewer- 
ship for the first show was gratifying, 
and led to a mini-flood of inquiries to 
ask the Council how families could 
obtain the Files of Life for their parents 
and grandparents. 

The second show focused on mental 
health and aging. Four broad categories 
were addressed. The local chapter of the 
Alzheimer's Association provided 
experts on dementia, and that segment 
included a discussion about dementia 
when law enforcement is present and 



about the special training provided to 
local police and deputies when dementia 
might impair a suspect's ability to coop- 
erate in questioning or to give consent. A 
local veterinarian then gave viewers a 
glimpse into the importance of pets to 
seniors, and the show received a special 
visit from Harley, a beautiful German 
Shepherd specially trained as a compan- 
ion animal, who modeled the type of 
assistance these pets can give to seniors 
in need. The show also included discus- 
sions of substance abuse, depression and 
anxiety in the elderly. This show 
addressed the stigma that some seniors 
attach to mental illness and advised fam- 
ilies on ways to overcome a family mem- 
ber's reluctance to identify their own 
mental illness and to recognize the value 
of treatment. 

"Resources for Seniors and 
Caregivers" was the topic for the third 
week's show. Guests from service agen- 
cies like Meals on Wheels shared infor- 
mation about how seniors could obtain 
services. There was also a frank discus- 
sion about how the budgetary impacts of 
September II, 2001 were still limiting the 
availability of some of these services, and 
still more information about how much 
retirees still have to offer the community, 
and avenues for volunteers to give serv- 
ice. 

The fourth and fifth shows addressed 
some tough topics: "Domestic Violence 
and Elder Abuse" and "Scams That Target 
The Elderly." Headlines over the years 
have documented cases of elderly citi- 
zens as the victims of violence and coer- 
cion, too often at the hands of family 
members or others entrusted to give 
care. Viewers of the fourth show were 
reminded that each person has a respon- 
sibility to report even suspected abuse to 
the proper authorities. The "Scams" 
show proved to be a viewer favorite, 
since law enforcement officers were on 
hand to share timely tips for spotting 
potential rip-offs such as driveway resur- 
facing, tree-trimming and other home- 
maintenance scams. Identity theft and 
other phone scams were thoroughly 
explored, and the show had great pre- 
ventative advice for people of any age. 

The shows were shot over a period of 
several weeks in the TBCN studios using 
a crew of three staff members in produc- 
tion and all-volunteer talent, Utilizing 
experts from 10 different agencies pro- 



©1125 



vided to the access center the added 
bonus of greater exposure in the non- 
profit community. TBCN, of course, 
hopes that exposure can be parlayed into 
more tangible support from area non- 
profits when franchise renegotiation 
rolls around. Says SALT Council 
Secretary Kurt Jasielonis, an employee of 
Hillsborough County's Public Library 
system, "One of the elements of the 
library's mission is to partner with other 
agencies in serving the information 
needs of the varied segments of our pub- 
lic and citizenry. As elders are an impor- 
tant element of this equation, the library 
along with the other associated agencies 
of the SALT Council, worked together to 
identify the topics of these programs — 
Mental Health & Aging, Resources for 
Seniors & Caregivers, Domestic Violence 
& Elder Abuse, Scams that Target Older 
Americans, and the mission of the SALT 
Council itself. The series was formatted, 
pulling from our available members and 
resources, to put forward information it 
was felt would help elders and their care- 
givers maintain a safe, secure, and enjoy- 
able quality of life here in Hillsborough 
County." 

The shows were designed to work as 
a group during Older Americans 
Awareness Month in May, but each one 
of the programs can also stand alone, 
and so provided valuable, original pro- 
gramming to reach out to a segment of 
the community under-represented by 
local public access programming in gen- 
eral. The individual shows are in relative- 
ly heavy rotation on TBCN's playback 
list, and have been cablecast from 10 to 
18 times each. 

Additionally, two of the agencies that 
participated in the mini- series have 
already contacted TBCN to ask for more 
extensive coverage of their particular 
avenues of service, which TBCN is only 
too happy to provide. Thus a good idea 
resulted in a chain of programming 
opportunities and a net increase of this 
facility's service to older members of the 
community. 

MJ Williamson serves as vice-chair of 
Hillsborough County's SALT Council as part 
of her duties as community outreach coordi- 
nator for TBCN. The outreach department 
focuses on increasing TBCN's usefulness to 
the whole community by producing pro- 
grams about area nonprofit agencies. MJ 
Williamson may be contacted at 
mj@speakuptampabay.org 

2mm 




Gobie Johns sets the camera for Senior Moments at 
Television. 



Dallas Community TV 
Celebrates Seniors 

by Beth McKee 

LITTLETON, COLORADO quickly cap- 
tured the attention of the nation on April 
20,1999 when the tragic news was 
released that gunfire at Columbine High 
School had claimed the lives of a teacher 
and 12 fellow students. 

In Dallas, Texas, 73-year old Gobie 
Johns wept. "I was absolutely haunted, 
wondering 'Where are the grandparents?' 
I couldn't get out of my mind that these 
young shooters had been so isolated. A 
grandparent could have provided caring, 
compassion and understanding — the 
Columbine kids didn't seem to have this. 
What has happened to grandparenting in 
our country?" 

Recognizing the impact of television, 
Johns decided to use the medium of 
community media to stimulate dialogue 
and action. She approached Dallas 
Community Television with a well-devel- 
oped concept for Senior Moments. Twelve 
episodes have been completed since that 
day. 

Senior Moments is geared "to moti- 
vate and inspire, educate and entertain 
the senior population," says Johns. And 
Johns is passionate about her message. 
"Our goal is to empower seniors — we 
have so much to share. Society says that 
'aging is debilitating'. That's not true — 
these are the best years!" 

Johns didn't have to search far and 
wide for crew for Senior Moments. After 
completing her studio production class 
at Dallas Community Television, she 



assembled a production 
team from members of 
her production class and 
volunteers from other 
shows. "There is no way 
we could have done this 
without our crew," smiles 
Johns. I've never been 
alone in this — each is ded- 
icated to the mission of 
Senior Moments. They 
have caught the vision 
that I have for ensuring 
that we don't 'throw away' 
our seniors." 

Johns' blue eyes 
Dallas Community sparkle as she recalls one 
of her favorite early pro- 
grams. Guests were the Reverends 
"Bubba" and Harry Daly of the Austin 
Street Shelter and Centre for the home- 
less in Dallas. "Homelessness is a faceless 
phenomenon," exclaims Johns. "You 
never think about your grandmother or 
grandfather being homeless. Bubba and 
Harry showed us that everyone is impact- 
ed. As members of the human race, they 
need to be granted dignity. We can all be 
part of the solution." 

An upcoming episode will feature 
three senior Dallas business divas, while 
another will focus on the subject of foster 
grandparenting. "If Columbine had only 
had a mentoring grandparent program,' 
sighs Johns. "These kids would have had 
a place ro go, and people to listen and 
care. A senseless tragedy mighr have 
been prevented." 

Her advice to young people? "Learn 
from your grandparents or senior neigh- 
bors. Talk to them. Listen to them. Teach 
them the technology of email so you can 
communicate. You'll get more from them 
than you ever expected— we're in the 
middle of the 'third act' of life!" 

Interested in running Senior Moments 
on your center's community television 
channels? Got an idea for a future pro- 
gram? Contact Gobie Johns at rv4sen- 
iors@aol.com. Senior Moments is in the 
process of applying for 501 (c)3 tax- 
exempt nonprofit status. A board of 
directors and advisory board provide 
governance. 

Beth McKee serves as membership devel- 
opment, coordinator for Dallas Community 
Television, where she celebrates 20 years of 
professional association with "top-notch" 
staff and members. She may be contacted 
dctvmem @earlh link. net. 




CENTRAL 



Oh Say Have You Seen 
Salina s Special Seniors? 

by David Hawks worth 

ELOISE LYNCH AND John Chalmers have 
been a pair for as long as anyone can 
remember. Well, at least as long as anyone 
at Community Access Television in Salina, 
Kansas can remember. 

They come from divergent back- 
grounds, but their mutual love of video as 
well as community service has brought 
them together to turn out literally hun- 
dreds of community-based programs. 

Eloise Lynch taught English and social 
science for 32 years, was a Kansas Master 
Teacher, served in the Kansas Legislature 
from 1989-1995, and helped to establish 
the League of Women Voters in Salina. She 
has also been involved in Delta Kappa 
Gamma, the AAUW, and 4-H. But she 
never gave a thought to video until she 
went back to school for her doctorate. "My 
dissertation involved an experiment in 
teaching with television things that could 
not be taught through conventional meth- 
ods," Eloise explained. "I learned to edit in 
order to show several different ways to use 
the process." 

When Community Access began, she 
helped build the facility — literally. "I 
helped paint the walls, and helped put 
glass bricks in place which formed the 
foundation of the front counter," she said. 

It wasn't long before Eloise began pro- 
ducing. July 2003 marked the beginning of 
the 8 th year for her series Oh! Say: A 
Dialog with Salina, which is cablecast live 
for one hour every other Wednesday 
evening. Since 1996, she has turned out 
over 180 programs in the series. "The 
secret of the show is in getting interesting 
people to appear. If that happens, the 
show does itself," she said. 

The show is a dialog between the host 
and guests about topics that are impor- 
tant to Salina, but she also wants to con- 
nect with her audience. To a large degree, 
she has succeeded. "Community mem- 
bers are always suggesting topics for me 
to cover on the show," Eloise said. And her 
shows have covered a lot of diverse sub- 
jects. A few examples: Oh! Say has fea- 




Eloise Lynch | photo on left], volunteer producer of Oh! Say: A 
Dialog with Salina. John Chalmers [far right] received a Hometown 
Award for his The Fox Theatre: Palace of Dreams. 



tured the national yo-yo champion (a 
Salina teen), seniors in their nineties, 
Salina's Ethnic Festival, and interviews 
with those returning for a reunion of the 
public school for blacks during the days of 
segregation. Everyone also looks forward 
to her annual two-hour Christmas spec- 
tacular. 

And then there's the "Wall of Fame," 
which is an integral part of the set. In the 
last few minutes of each program, Eloise 
takes two pictures of her guests — one for 
them, and one for the wall. "There have 
been so many people on the show over 
the years, I've had to take the old pictures 
down to make room for the new ones. I've 
got several scrapbooks full of pictures of 
my guests!" 

Although Eloise is well into her 70s, 
she doesn't plan to slow down anytime 
soon: "I'll keep going as long as the good 
Lord's willing and the quick creek don't 
rise!" Her views on today's media are 
strong: "Commercial communications 
today aren't doing what we hoped. Hope 
rests with Public access — and we're up to 
the job!" 

John Chalmers has directed nearly all 
of the Oh! Say programs. Prior to getting 
involved at Community Access, he had 
never had any experience in video. John 
worked for a restaurant supply company, 
a package delivery firm, and ran his own 
restaurant before retiring in 1991. An ad in 
the paper brought him to Access; his first 
job was, like Eloise, helping to build the 
facility. He got into production early, tap- 
ing a Christmas cantata that became the 
first program cablecast on Community 



Reports from Salina, Kansas; Iowa 
City, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; 
Midland, Hartland and Grand 
Rapids in Michigan 



Access. 

Although John and Eloise had 
been acquaintances, they had 
never worked together until 
being involved in Access. "Eloise 
asked if I would help with her 
program," he said. "When I got 
there, there was no director, so 
the staff person supervising the 
shoot told me to direct. Now I 
had never directed before, but I 
gave it a try, and it seemed to 
work out pretty well!" 

John has produced plenty of 
programming on his own as well He has 
covered the Community Health Seminar, a 
series of lectures about alternative medi- 
cine. John has also produced many special 
programs, both in the studio and on loca- 
tion. His crowning achievement, though, 
was producing Tlie Fox Theatre: Palace of 
Dreams, a documentary about a theatre in 
downtown Salina that was raising funds to 
restore the building. The program won a 
Hometown Video Festival award in 2000. 

"I really feel a sense of accomplish- 
ment when I'm at Community Access," 
John said, "I had never used a computer 
before. I had only used a home movie 
camera. I feel I have improved my camera 
work a great deal. I also get a lot of satis- 
faction from helping others." John has 
probably spent more time working on oth- 
ers' productions than on his own. At 77, 
health concerns have slowed John a bit 
this year, but he is still directing Oh! Say, 
and has plans to get back to producing as 
soon as possible. 

To many people in Salina, Eloise and 
John embody Public access by using televi- 
sion, in the spirit of volunteerism, to bring 
important information to the community, 
whether they act as producer or just as 
crew. Nothing says this better than their 
selection as volunteer of the year at 
Community Access in consecutive years — 
John in 1999, and Eloise in 2000. Not bad 
for this pair of special volunteers! 

David Hawksworth is executive director 
of Community Access Television in Salina, 
Kansas, voice 785.823.2500, or email at 
accesstv@salnet. org. 

©1127 



Promoting a Positive 
View of Aging at SCTV 

by Elaine Beck 

SENIOR CENTER TELEVISION (SCTV), an 
award-winning volunteer outreach project, 
brings quality Senior Center programs and 
information helpful to healthy aging into 
the homes of at-home seniors and the 
greater Johnson Count]' community in 
Iowa. The SCTV crew is comprised of indi- 
viduals 55 years of age and older with little 
or no previous video/TV/broadcast experi- 
ence. Volunteers receive thorough training 
in all aspects of video production, includ- 
ing pre-production, production and post- 
production. In the following article, Elaine 
Beck, a SCTV video production specialist, 
recaps an interview she conducted at the 
weekly meeting of Senior Cen ter Television. 

A group of senior citizens sit in a circle 
in a sunny room in restored limestone 
post office in downtown Iowa City, Iowa. 
Computers, monitors, decks, surround 
them and they are bursting with ideas. 
Betty McCray calls the meeting to order. 
The first item on the agenda at the weekly 
meeting of Senior Center Television is 
administrative issues. Usually I report on 
the new hard drive, the cords, the audio 
problems, whatever needs to be done to 
keep the group of 15 volunteer senior citi- 
zen video producers engaged in making 
the five hours of original programming 
every month. Instead, today, I ask a ques- 
tion. 

"Why are you so committed to SCTV 
and not another creative endeavor, like 
quilting? In other words, why do you do 
this?" 

The responses start rolling out. It 
becomes clear the question has hit home, 
so I ask people to write their responses. 
Some are brief: 

"This is a great opportunity to learn 
something completely alien to my experi- 
ence," writes John Birkbeck, published 
poet and producer of Poet's Corner, a con- 
tinuing series of interviews with local 
poets. He has long been involved with the 
writing scene associated with the Writer's 
Workshop at the University of Iowa. 

"I enjoy being a part of SCTV because 
there are always interesting and wonderful 
people volunteering their time to SCTV 
projects. It has given me an opportunity to 
learn camera and interview skills in partic- 
ular." Indeed Bebe Ballantyne is a skilled 
interviewer and polished performer, a 

28©!! 



mainstay in the community theater scene. 

Others I have to track down. So after 
the meeting I interview Sue Wakefield, 
Rosemaire Petzold and Claire Shaw. 

Rosemaire leads off, "I knew about this 
before 1 retired. I have always been inter- 
ested in photography and theater and this 
is a combination, more in the production 
vein. I don't want to be in front of the cam- 
era." (Although she was active in 
Toastmasters for years.) 

Our mission is to promote the Senior 
Center in downtown Iowa City, Iowa, and 
to promote a positive view of aging. 

I wonder, "Do we put out a senior per- 
spective with our shows?" 

"Indirectly, yes", says Claire. "We are so 
different. We are not a day care, we are a 
learning center." Claire should know, she 
recently completed editing [in 
Final Cut Pro) an hour long 
program she shot in her writ- 
ing class. The program and the 
class were both called Write 
Your Life. 

Sue, our newest member, 
says," This is a Final Cut Pro 
support group." Sue has taught 
video production for years in 
the iowa City public schools and does 
most of her editing in her home studio. 
"Bebe tried and tried to get me here. 
Finally she brought me here, And by the 
way Elaine, 1 like quilting too!" 

Claire was looking for someplace to get 
involved. "1 came to a meeting and it was 
intriguing. I saw it as a challenge, to see 
whether or not I could do it." 

When a new volunteer shows up I 
always worry that our meetings, which are 
a hurly burly of creative energy will scare 
them off. My co-worker, Mark McCuskcr, 
fellow graduate student in Intermedia at 
the University of Iowa, and Public access 
veteran, and I try to get people in front of 
the camera or behind It right away. Usually 
they are hooked and ready for the arduous 
process of learning to edit. 

I so much enjoy the process I wonder, 
"If we didn't broadcast our programs, 
would you still do this?" 

Claire says "Yes, I do it for the learning. 
1 do it for the process. Just like in writing, I 
don't expect it to be published." 

"I would still come for the support, but 
I like there to be a venue. There is no sense 
in doing it unless someone will see." True 
to her words Sue has recently negotiated a 
two -hour time slot for SCTV on 
Coralvision, the public access channel in 




Louise Young adjusts camera 



Coralville, a fast growing suburb of Iow^a 
City. 

Rosemaire Is also more directly product 
oriented, "I need a finish, a product and I 
don't watch TV, except when I see it here." 

Rosemaire is responsible for the organ- 
ization of both of the two-hour reels we 
put out every month. The reels arc assem- 
bled and cablecast on Channel 4, the city 
channel, because their equipment is more 
sophisticated for audio. In addition we get 
technical support from Channel 4 from 
time to time. 

All the volunteers participate in pro- 
gramming decisions. Back in the meeting 
we are getting out of order, "What will go 
on the reels this month?" 

"What will we put on Mature FocusV 
Mature Focus is our half-hour magazine 
show that airs on Public 
access. 

"Will there be enough 
material? Is that piece finished 
yet?" 

"That sounds like an edit- 
ing issue. Do you need to 
schedule some time for edit- 
ing?" Betty, our patient chair- 
person, pipes in. Editing is 
done on three Macs, equipped with pro- 
sumer level dual DV and SVHS decks. Our 
archive is all SVHS. Betty has been pas- 
sionately involved in much of its creation. 
She writes: 
From: EMckray@aol.com 
To: elaine-beck@uiowa.edu 
Subject: SCTV 

Right after joining SCTV I got involved 
in the taping of a series of programs on 
WWTI. Organizing and archiving the 
nmnerous tapes that resulted from that 
series of events was a major undertaking. 
Since I am a veteran, that project contin- 
ues to give me pleasure. 

The other project that brings back 
memories was the Goodies show, a series 
of 15 cooking shows, featuring the cooks 
and recipes in the Senior Center cook- 
book. My activity in SCTV led to more 
than two terms on the city cable commis- 
sion. At the present time my contribution 
to SCTV is via the administrative area, 
although creative expression available 
through making video is still a challenge. 

- Betty McKray 

Thanks Betty Yes, making video is still 
a challenge. But we have come a long way 
from our "broom closet in the bathroom" 
beginnings. Over the years SCTV has 
trained close to 100 older adults in the art 
of television production. The volunteers 
are an amazing group of incredibly creative 



risk takers who embraced the new digital tech- 
nology and have become fairly proficient using 
iMovie and Final Cut Pro. Five of tire volunteers 
have even purchased their own editing equip- 
ment so they can work at home. Soon we will 
be able to do live shoots from four rooms in our 
building, including our studio. 

Barbara I lackman was there at the begin- 
ning; in fact you might even say her feisty com- 
ments initiated the first program SCTV pro- 
duced 14 years ago. She was just a kid of 63 
then, now at 77 she is an experienced videogra- 
pher, producer of a beautiful visual diary of the 
construction of a parking ramp right outside 
her window. She started looking and shooting 
and has not stopped yet. Tower Place is the 
name of the parking ramp and the name of the 
series she produced over 18 months time. Every 
month the public saw through Barbara's' eyes 
the process of men working with machines, 
water running into a sunlit puddle on the con- 
struction sight, jumbles of cords, leaves blow- 
ing through an alley. Barbara sees like an artist 
and the workers on the construction site even- 
tually gave her own hardhat to protect that 
vision. Barbara told me after Tower Place that 
she was too tired to learn the digital editing. 
She took a little time off and now she has her 
own iMac and is tackling a new project, along 
with Rosemaire involving the watershed in 
Johnson County. They will interview officials; 
shoot the lively creeks and rivers of the place 
and without a doubt make a great contribution 
to the community. I suggest she might want to 
put her project on DVD. Again she says, "No I'm 
not going to learn any of that stuff". I point out 
that I've heard her say that before and we both 
laugh. 

After the meeting 1 am working with Louise 
Young. We are exporting the final edited version 
of a presentation on Emily Dickinson and dis- 
cussing whether or not to import some other 
footage while we print to video. Louise watches 
every program she exports and T appreciate 
this. She says, "It gets boring sometimes, but 
you have to do it. It's like when you are playing 
in a woodwind quintet and you are practicing 
your own part for Haydn's Divertimento in D. 
Your individual part is going to sound boring as 
all get out. You really don't find out how inter- 
esting it is until you play with the other people 
in the ensemble and you play your parts 
together. It's like what we do here." 

Elaine Beck is a video production specialist at 
the SCTV in Iowa City, Iowa. She holds an MFA 
from Vermont College of Union Institute and 
University as well as an MA in Art from the 
University of Iowa where she is working on a sec- 
ond MFA focusing on alternative practices involv- 
ing public art, painting, video and performance. 
She may be contacted at elaine-beck@uiowa.edu. 




CAN TV 21 's Senior Network Offers Variety 



by Allan Gomez 

DUST OFF THOSE memories of a time 
in the past, when sitting down with the 
household for an evening at home was 
a little bit different than it is today. 
When entertainment after dinner 
revolved around the radio, not the tele- 
vision, and the only images you saw 
were the ones shaped by your imagina- 
tion. 

This is what occurred on a recent 
shoot in CAN TV's studios when The 
Senior Network crew invited Chicago 
viewers down memory lane for a spe- 
cial television performance with the 
radio theater troupe Those Were the 
Days Radio Players. 

The Senior Network, a Sunday series 
that airs on CAN TV21, features a wide 
range of subjects from interviews about 
issues important to seniors to perform- 
ances by local musicians. Once a week, 
The Senior Network produces a wide 
variety of programming ranging from 
big band entertainment, to politics, to 
interviews with prominent radio leg- 
ends and more all produced by and for 
seniors. Its current 11 members rotate 
positions allowing each a turn at decid- 
ing what programming should be pro- 
duced. Crew members operating the 
equipment and editing the programs 
are primarily senior citizens. Said 
Senior Network crew member Martha 
Wilson, "Sixteen years ago I came to 
CAN TV and I never left. I was so 
impressed that anyone could come in 
and produce whatever they want. I 
never imagined I would be producing 
programs like this, but here I am and 
it's wonderful." 



The Norridge-based Those Were the 
Days Radio Players group is one of 
eight regional "Those Were the Days" 
chapters that primarily perform on 
radio or for live audiences. Many of 
Those Were the Days' 200 performances 
have been for Chicago and the subur- 
ban area's church groups and senior 
citizen homes. The group has also per- 
formed annually for the past 10 years at 
the Chicago Cultural Center. Using a 
wide array of handcrafted and modified 
sound effect devices — such as sounds 
made by a pair of shoes, a miniature 
door, bells, whistles, wooden sticks and 
blocks — the creative storytelling tech- 
niques of the Those Were the Days 
Players help tfieir audience "see" the 
story unfold. Frank Cortese, of Those 
Were the Days said, "We practice at 
least once a week and perform sporadi- 
cally on radio and for live audiences. 
[Appearing on] television is a special 
opportunity for us." 

By sharing their performance 
through television, the Those Were the 
Days Radio Players gave Chicago view- 
ers a behind-the-scenes look at radio 
performance in action. That was one of 
the reasons Martha and fellow Senior 
Network member Roger May decided to 
bring the group to CAN TV for the 
shoot. "I remember the age of radio" 
reminisced Martha, "and so do most 
seniors. It brings back good memories 
and keeps a little bit of history alive." 

Allan Gomez is communications coor- 
dinator for CAN TV He may be con tacted 
at agoinez@cantv.org or by calling 
312.738.1400. 

M29 



Edith Doil: Younger 
Than Her 86 Years 

by Ron Beacom 

EDITH DOIL LIVES the life of someone 
much younger than her 86 years. She pro- 
duces three studio shows. She checks out 
a camcorder, tripod, and accessories to 
record community events. Edith loads 
two cameras, a mini-switcher, monitors, 
and lights into her red Jeep Cherokee to 
record the Law Day event. She's been a 
member of the production trailer crew, 
mostly men, taping sports and the sym- 
phony. Edith operates the graphics sys- 
tem for her church's TV ministry. Her pro- 
grams have won top honors in the Philo T 
Farnsworth Video Contest sponsored by 
the Central States Region of the Alliance. 

About five feet, three 
inches tall, she refuses to 
step on a scale. Her hair is 
reddish, her face is round 
and she wears glasses, Edith 
has five children (four liv- 
ing), five grandchildren, and 
two great-grandchildren. 
She was married for 25 
years, divorced for many 
more. She reads book after 
book often recommending 
just the right book to one of 

her friends. She traveled for 

fun to places such as 
Australia, Costa Rica, and Poland. Edith 
worked as a licensed practical nurse in 
the hospital and at a doctor's office. She 
worked the two jobs, seven days a week, 
for 16 years, because as she says, "I had 
kids to take care of." She now lives in the 
country, southeast of town, with her son 
Tim and their chocolate Lab, Joe. She's up 
around 6:00 a.m. She tends a half-acre 
garden and bakes blueberry pie and zuc- 
chini bread. This summer, she stripped 
the paint off of her second story deck. She 
says, "I don't have time to get old." 

She's the heart of Midland Community 
Television (MCTV), the access operation 
in Midland, a town of 41,000 near the 
middle of the mitten called Michigan. 
MCTV has been in operation since 1984. 
Edith came to us in 1988, responding to a 
MCTV flyer she found at the local senior 
center. Since that time, she's volunteered 
thousands of hours to MCTV and has 
received the Community Award, our 
access operation's highest individual 
honor. 

30©B 



Regarding access television, Edith 
said, "Somebody had a brilliant idea 
when they came up with that." Health 
issues for seniors and people of all ages 
are the topics for MidMichigan Health 
Talk, a program Edith produces with 
Carol Campbell, assistant vice -president 
for the MidMichigan Medical Center. 
Their show has been on MCTV since the 
mid-1990s, and in that time, Campbell's 
relationship with Edith has grown into a 
personal friendship. Campbell admires 
Edith, "If you pulled everyone together 
she touches, it would be an enormous 
group of people." 

The host of her second monthly 
series is Judge Tom Beale. His show is The 
Judge Interviews. Beale wasn't sure what 
he was getting into when Edith called to 




Edith Doil in the MCTV studio. 



discuss the program. He knew she was in 
her eighties but, BeaLe said, he "quickly 
learned her age evaporates." 

Ralph Brozzo is the host of Money 
Matters, a series that has been part of 
MCTV's program schedule since 1 988 
and the third show under Ediths direc- 
tion. Brozzo is the vice-president at the 
local A.G. Edwards investment office and 
normally decides program, content, "but 
when Edith suggested we do a program 
for people without a lot of money," 
Brozzo says, "we responded and did a 
program on budgeting that helped every- 
body." 

Of her first 86 years, Edith said, "You 
find so many elderly people who just 
want to play cards or talk about their 
aches and pains. I hope (what I do) keeps 
me interesting for other people to know." 

Very interesting. 

Ron Beacom has been the director of the 
MCTV Network for the City of Midland since 
1989. He can be reached at rbeacom@mid- 
land-mi.org. 



The Sage Video 
Production Group 

by Felicia Jamison 

WHEN ELEANOR CONAWAY retired as a 
social worker for the State of Michigan 
she had a very specific goal: to use her 
time to create videos to educate individu- 
als about environmental issues. Although 
she never produced before, Eleanor 
decided something had to be done about 
suburban sprawl. Undaunted, she took 
the remote certification class, rolled up 
her sleeves and started using a camera to 
make her voice heard. 

Senior citizens have an active role at 
Hartland Community Access TV. They 
were the first segment of the community 
to become heavily involved in local 
access. What began as a few folks looking 
for something different to do ushered 
many positive changes at HCAT. 

Hartland Community Access 
Television opened its doors to the com- 
munity in September of 1997. Located in 
a small bedroom community northwest 
of Detroit, Hartland residents paid little 
attention to community media, wanting 
HCAT staff to provide what amounted to 
be a taping service for little league and 
school plays. It seemed like no one was 
really interested in learning how to make, 
and then create, television programs. 

The scenario changed drastically after 
the creation of a partnership with the 
Hartland Senior Center. In an outreach 
effort to the community, a certification 
class tailored to the senior citizen popu- 
lation was created. The initial response 
was positive and the long terms effects 
were beyond our imagination. 

Excited about the possibilities of 
video production, the freshly certified 
senior citizens created the Sage Video 
Production Group. Since 1997, they have 
been meeting every Wednesday at the 
studio to produce programs of interest to 
the senior population. In its two first 
years, Sage Video's program output was 
second in volume only to the local gov- 
ernment meetings. Some joked that 
HCAT should be renamed Hartland 
Senior Television, given the high percent- 
age of programs produced by and for 
persons over the age of 55. 

Eileen Dethloff, a retired nurse in her 
seventies, quickly became the un- elected 
leader of Sage Video. Not shy about 
telling people what to do, or asking 



politicians questions that would 
make Barbara Walters pause and 
reconsider, she has been a driving 
force behind Sage. Having found 
her niche in political program- 
ming, she has interviewed all of 
our local leaders, state senators 
and a Congressman. I am positive 
the upcoming presidential elec- 
tion is already turning gears in her 
head. 

Despite the apparent age slant 
in program content, a funny thing 
happened: people of other age groups 
began to take notice in what community 
access had to offer. Senior citizens 
became an asset to our center, their con- 
tribution going far beyond programming 
hours: rhey drew people in. 

HCAT is a very small access center, 
with a staff of two. From 1997 until the 
summer of 2003, the editing room con- 
sisted of a 10 foot by 1 2 foot room that 
housed three computer editing stations 
and a tape to tape editor. Frequently, Five 
to seven people could be found working 
in the room, on their respective pro- 
grams. 

A certain kinship developed between 
the producers, young and old, since it 
was difficult to ignore the lack of person- 
al space involved in the post production 
facilities. Most people made the best of it, 
becoming very familiar with each other's 
productions, providing encouragement 
and sharing know-how. The HCAT editing 
room became the place where genera- 
tions came together, where one could 
find a radical skateboarding video was 
being edited next to a heartfelt program 
about hardships during World War II. 

Of the senior citizens who help bridge 
the gap between young and not so 
young, George Laskowski is the master. 
At 82 going on 18, he is a staff and volun- 
teer favorite. Having spent a good por- 
tion of his life with a film camera in his 
hand, just for fun, George amassed an 
enviable archive of the American life in 
the 20th Century. While his program out- 
put is seriously hampered by frequent 
interruptions requesting his recollection 
of a bygone era, he still manages to create 
programs that get wonderful viewer 
response. (Currenlly George holds the 
unofficial record of being recognized at 
the grocery store the most times.) 

The involvement of senior citizens in 
Hartland came at a time when the studio 
was in jeopardy of never fully finding its 




Producer Eileen Dethloff discusses her program with HCAT 
staff Chase Pearsall. 



niche. Their involvement helped create 
awareness of HCAT and bring in people 
of other age groups and bridge age gaps. 
Joe Kleiner, a retired math teacher, says it 
best: "I have come to realize by my asso- 
ciation with the kids, adults and other 
senior citizens (at the studio), it's for 
everyone. It's just a lot of fun. I find that 
using a camera to capture something and 
put it together and give others some 
entertainment is just a ball." 

Felicia Jamison is studio manager of 
Hartland Community Access TV (and inter- 
im cable administrator for Hartland 
Township. She may be contacted at 
hartland-access@earthlink.net. 

Not Your Typical 
Little Old Lady 

by Chuck Peterson 

COHRINE CAREY IS not your typical little 
old lady. She is a prolific community TV 
producer with the longest running show 
on GRTV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To 
figure out exactly when she became 
involved in Public access would take 
some research because it predates our 
facility's use of computers to track mem- 
berships. Suffice it to say, she's been pro- 
ducing her show Speaking Out for most 
of the last 21 years, since we first opened 
our doors to the public. 

Known to many as "the peace 
lady," Conine has spent the last 
couple of decades attending every 
anti-war, anti-nuclear and envi- 
ronment-related event, rally or 
speaking engagement within 100 
miles of Grand Rapids, At every 
event she asks people to "tell us 
who you are and why you are 
here," and she always finds that 
people are thrilled to he given the 
opportunity to talk about them- 
selves and their beliefs. 

As a retired schoolteacher, 



Corrine became active during the Nuclear 
Freeze movement in the early '80s. The 
idea of her grandchildren living with the 
threat of nuclear annihilation or contami- 
nation was too much to live with. Hearing 
about the new communication tools at 
her disposal, she was quickly inspired to 
utilize Public access television. "I First 
wanted to start a weekly show with two 
other people, but when that didn't come 
together I decided to do things myself and 
I just started taping events going on 
around the area." She set out to make sure 
that the anti-war, pro-environment mes- 
sage was always prominenr in the public 
eye. The personal archive of VHS tapes 
she has recorded fills a room in her home 
and is busting out into other rooms. 

Only recently, Corrine switched to the 
DV format for recording her program, 
making the transition from analog to digi- 
tal production. It was a painful step. She 
considered hanging up her camcorder but 
recent world events gave her renewed 
energy for the importance of her avoca- 
tion. She now comes in and edits her half- 
hour program on a laptop computer using 
iMovie. She can't deny that the pictures 
look better than ever, even though the 
conversion to a digital way of thinking has 
left her weary. "I still found the VHS stuff 
was veiy doable — it worked out very well 
for me. I fiaven'r learned to do it as easily 
with the new equipment." She's gone 
along with many technical innovations 
over the years and she would be the First 
to say she is "non-technical". 

Corrine's dedication and perseverance 
embodies the restless spirit of community 
television. May she find peace in her life- 
time. 

Chuck Peterson is GRTV affiliate director 
at the Community Media Center in Grand 
Rapids, Michigan. Contact him at 
chuck@grcmc.org 




Corrine Carey takes her message to the streets. 



31 



Reports from Cupertino 

and Contra Costa in California; 

and Maui in Hawai'i 



The Better Part 
Celebrates 20 Years 

by Val Jeffery 

"The Better Part was one of the biggest 
reasons public access was saved. Thanks to 
you and so many others who provide this 
important community service. When eval- 
uating the city's difficult budget situation 
and local demands for public access pro- 
gramming, The Better Part became the 
clearest example of the highest and best 
use of this important community service." 
— Public Information Officer Rick Kitson, 
City of Cupertino, California 

TWENTY YEARS AGO a DeAnza College 
video student, Sherry Hutson, inspired 
and encouraged a small group of seniors 
who wanted to produce a pubic access 
television program. The seniors met at the 
Cupertino Senior Center and decided to 
call themselves Cupertino Senior TV 
Productions. Sherry was convinced that 
seniors could and would be able to master 
the professional cameras and control 
room equipment to produce their own 
shows. 

How right she was — this year we cele- 
brate our 20th year of producing informa- 
tive and entertaining programs for our 
seniors! In thai time, we have produced 
over 730 programs. Our programs are 
made primarily for seniors, but are of 
interest to all ages and cover a host of dif- 
ferent subjects: energy conservation, tele- 
phone services, medical breakthroughs 
for seniors, community participation, 
music and activities and adventures to 
name just a few. Our programs air on a 
variety of channel operations in 
California, including Cupertino 
Community Access Television, Los Altos, 
and Community Access Television in San 
Jose, Mountain View, Saratoga, Los Gatos, 
and Morgan Hill. And Suzanne St. John, 
executive director of the Community 
Media Access Partnership (CMAP) media 
center on the Gavilan College campus in 
Gilroy, recently welcomed The Better Part 
to the CMAP line-up: "I was thrilled to 
hear that our community was going to 
benefit from the programming of an expe- 

32« 




Every member of Cupertino Senior TV Productions has their awn special talent: (Back row, left to right): 
Ron (of Ron & Ruth) Moore, our husband and wife team who met in high school following a Dramatic 
Society cast party in 1948 and have been married for 52 years. Ernie Piini, an amateur astronomer, joined 
CSTVP in 1996 and has produced almost 50 programs. Bob Allen, our current President. Vesta Walden, our 
dubbing genius, Dennis Palsgaard, an electronic engineer, who enjoys editing and operating all studio 
equipment. Bill Mannion, who joined us in 1994 and performs all studio tasks. Bill Richerson, an avid 
stamp collector, who operates camera for 'The Better Part'. Carl McCann, formerly of CBS-TV in San Diego, 
a founding Board Member for Morgan Hill Access TV and a camera, teleprompter and audio board whiz. 
John Heather, formerly of the BBC in London for 30 years, who acts as our technical guru, soundman, and 
editor. (Front row, left to right): Billie Atwood, who has tackled every task since joining in 1988 (including 
booking her famous father Orville Redenbacher as a guest on our program!) Dottie Schmid, an original 
crewmember and former President. Madhuwanti Mirashi, tape operator, Diane Benedetti, Executive 
Producer 2003. Ruth Moore. Val Jeffery. Marilyn Priel, host and camera and Myrna Gelphman, switcher. 
(Not in photo): Chuck Johnson, pro at everything. Gordon Peterson, camera, was a counselor at San Jose 
Community College for 27 years. Andrea Dorey, a medical writer, our newest member. 



rienced senior producer," she told CSTVP. 
"As CMAP is a brand new station, The 
Better Part provides a great example to our 
viewers, seniors in particular, of what 
community TV is all about." 

Our program name, The Better Part, 
was inspired by a quotation from Robert 
Browning: "Grow old along with me, the 
best is yet to be; the last of life for which 
the first was made." We use this quotation 
to greet our viewers at the beginning of 
each of our programs, 

Over the years The Better Part lias 
received both local and national awards, 
including several from the Western Region 
of the Alliance for Community Media, 
Most recently, three of our programs— 
Earthquake in El Salvador, Wanna Make a 
Movie?, and Wings of History—were final- 
ists in the 2002 WAVE awards. We won a 
first place with Earthquake in El Salvador, 
a program about local seniors who helped 
rebuild a village after a devastating earth- 
quake. 

Being part of CSTVP and making The 
Better Parr gives us the opportunity to 



keep up with technology and learn new 
and interesting things from our varied and 
talented guests. Two years ago, we moved 
from analog to digital without missing a 
beat. We learned new recording equip- 
ment and new editing software. We are 
not afraid lo tackle new challenges, the 
latest change being our recent move from 
our well-loved DeAnza College studio to 
our new home at KMVT] 5 in Mountain 
View. New equipment, new editing pro- 
gram maybe... no problem! Our current 
members are taking it in their stride. 

Anyone can do what we are doing if 
they just have the courage to try. And by 
trying, you can make a difference in your 
community. I am convinced that being 
part of a unique senior group like ours 
(our age difference spans 32 years!) helps 
us stay active, alert and younger longer. 

Val Jeffery produces programming for 
Cupertino Sen ior TV Productions and is 
chairman of the 20th Anniversary 
Celebration Committee. CSTVP can be con- 
tacted through the Cupertino Senior Center 
or by email at VAJeffery@aolwm 



Senior Information 
Journal in Contra Costa 

by Judy Weitzner 

SENIOR INFORMATION JOURNAL (SID is 
a WAVE and Hometown Video Festival 
award-winning, television series produced 
by Contra Costa County's Area Agency on 
Aging in collaboration with Contra Costa 
Television (CCTV,) the county govern- 
ment's television station. Using communi- 
ty television, we reach both well elders 
and homebound or institutionalized eld- 
ers with substantial information on 
health-related topics and provide access 
to resources for viewers who need further 
help. 

Guests on the show are experts from 
our community. We hope that by "meet- 
ing" local service and health care 
providers and being introduced to their 
services, our viewers will overcome hesi- 
tation to seek help. Other guests on the 
show are peers to older adults who may 
share their experience. For instance, on 
the "prostate show," the guests were three 
men who had recently undergone 
prostate surgery and who encouraged 
viewers to get prostate screening and not 
to fear the results. On another show, sen- 
iors who were going through the process 
of formulating their Advance Medical 
Directives discussed their concerns about 
end of life issues and opened the door to 
frank discussion on a difficult topic. 

The program's format does vary. 
Demonstrations of products, new tech- 
nologies, assistive devices, and exercise 
routines are often part of the show. (A 
recent show on Complementary Medicine 
featured body work demonstrations.) 
Senior theater groups have written and 
performed skits. {Silver Wings performed 
skits enacting common scams and frauds 
perpetrated on the elderly for the "Scams" 
show.) On many of the shows, we include 
a professionally produced video that 
we've obtained from health organizations, 
and are able to add production value to 
the show without adding expense. The 
video provides a knowledge -base for the 
discussion with the guests, and most 
agencies welcome the opportunity to 
work with Senior Information Journal as 
public education and outreach is part of 
their mission. Other shows include an 
audience of older adults who are invited 
to participate in the show's taping the 
show and ask questions of the guests. 




Host JudyWeitzner and guests prepare to discuss 
life and health issues specific to seniors on 
Contra Costa Television's award-winning series 
Senior Information Journal. 



Groups of seniors from housing facilities, 
committees, and residential care facilities 
take part in this way and, feeling invested 
in the show, become loyal viewers and 
advisors. 

Community response to the program 
has been excellent! Senior Information 
and the other agencies and services fea- 
tured on the show get calls from viewers 
daily. Interest in our program extends 
beyond the community too — San 
Francisco, Alameda, Marin and Sonoma 
counties also air Senior Information 
journal. In fact, the Area Agency on Aging 
can hardly keep up with requests from 
cable providers, senior centers, and resi- 
dential facilities who would like to air the 
show. 

SIJ is currently financed by Health 
Promotion Disease Prevention monies 
(Older Americans Act Title HIP funding). 
During the start-up period, grants were 
received from CCTV to do some pilots. A 
non-restrictive educational grant was 
received from a drug company, and, pos- 
sibly more grants are forthcoming. 

Although the work involved in organ- 
izing and producing is extensive, the pay- 
back for the effort is ongoing, in that we 
have a product that is used repeatedly to 
reach our citizens with important infor- 
mation. 



Judith Weitzner is executive producer 
and moderator for Senior Information 
Journal. She may be reached at 
nimadawa@aol.com. For further informa- 
tion on Contra Costa Television's programs 
and services, contact Patricia Burke, execu- 
tive director, at phurk@contracostatv.org 



Maui's Community TV 
Gives Long Term Care 
a Voice and a Vision 

By Tony Krieg and Rita Barreras 

AT A TIME WHEN society looks to gov- 
ernment to solve community issues, 
Maui's Public access television net- 
work, Akaku: Maui Community TV, has 
played a major role in organizing local 
community planning efforts to address 
a severe and growing shortage of elder- 
care services. 

Our nation is facing a crisis in terms 
of services for the elderly. The Baby 
Boomer generation, the most populat- 
ed age group in our society, is aging at a 
time when continuation of Social 
Security benefits is in jeopardy and 
government funding for healthcare 
programs, such as Medicare and 
Medicaid, is decreasing. Add to this the 
issue of caregivers; there is already a 
shortage of nurses, and careers in 
healthcare are declining despite the 
fact that the potential market is 
increasing. 

These issues have been contem- 
plated by Maui senior services 
providers for some time. Mauians want 
their island to be the best when it 
comes to coordinating a communica- 
tion and service delivery system for 
elders and their families. This was evi- 
denced when, recently, about 70 Maui, 
Hawai'i residents of all ages met to rati- 
fy this community's vision of their 
beautiful island when focusing on its 
senior population. Their vision is that 
Maui is a place where the spirit of aloha 
(love) and ohana (family) is the essence 
of our "Kupuna (elder) Friendly Isle." 
These efforts are a part of a planning 
initiative of the Maui Long-Term Care 
Partnership, a volunteer group working 
together to assure seniors have choice 
about where to live and the services 
available to meet their needs in their 
later years. 

The Maui Long-Term Care 
Partnership (MLTCP) Strategic 
Planning Initiative is one of 13 projects 
in the nation selected for funding by 
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 
Community Partnerships for Older 
Adults. These grantees are charged with 
developing community-based models 
to bring about systemic change in the 

§1133 



deliver}' of long-term 
care in the nation. 
The Maui 

Partnership began as 
an effort a few years 
ago to address a 
growing problem on 
Maui Island of an 
insufficient supply of 
facilities and services 
to meet the demands 
of a fast growing 
elder population 
coupled with lack of 
care providers and 
untrained family caregivers. In 2002, 
with some financial help from the Robert 
Wood Johnson Foundation, other local 
foundations, county government, and 
local providers and other in-kind sup- 
port, the group moved forward with an 
ambitious community planning agenda. 
The mission is to develop and sustain a 
comprehensive, coordinated system of 
home- and community-based services so 
that seniors can live a quality life and die 
with dignity 7 . 

From the very beginning of this proj- 
ect, the key organizers of the effort saw 
Akaku: Maui Community TV as a major 
"partner" in developing Maui's "grass- 
roots" planning model to improve access 
and coordination of elder care services. 
The MLTCP is the 
only project of its 
kind in the nation 
that is utilizing 
Public access televi- 
sion as part of its 
community commu- 
nication strategy. 

Maui County is 
unique in Hawaii 
and in the nation as 
it is made up of three 
distinct islands: 
Maui, Molokai and 
Lanai. The majority of the population is 
located on Maui (approximately 115,000 
people). Maui County is the center of 
county government and has no locally 
produced television. Its citizens rely on 
Akaku and its paid and volunteer staff to 
produce television coverage of public 
hearings, talk shows on current events, 
and general community and cultural 
events. The model for the MLTCP uses 
the communication method of "talk 
story" through community access cable 





Japanese Elder Women 



Chinese New Year Luau 

television to engage people in the dis- 
cussion about long-term care and sup- 
port services. In Hawai'i, "talk story" 
means talking and listening island-style, 
adapting to cultural communication 
approaches, and participating in 
potluck-style conversation or other 
informal means of getting to know peo- 
ple at their walks of life. This method 
proved especially useful for the 
Partnership's initiative as it resulted in 
gaining the trust and "buy-in" of people 
so they: (1) wanted to learn more about 
and help solve the problem of long-term 
care on the island; (2) helped create 
Maui's regional planning and communi- 
cation structure to carry out the initia- 
tive; (3) recruited 
more people to get 
actively involved in 
solving an island - 
wide community 
problem; and (4) 
communicated the 
progress of the com- 
munity's initiative to 
develop a strategic, 
plan for long-term 
care. 

Akaku's resources 
and grants from the 
County of Maui and 
the Hawai'i Community Foundation 
were also used to produce videos. The 
videos were used as introductory pieces 
to assure that citizens understood the 
how long-term care is organized and 
financed, and what new models of serv- 
ice delivery might be available for Maui. 
Akaku's educational affiliate, the Maui 
Community College channel, pitched in 
and developed a program that featured 
new legislation passed by the 2003 
Hawaii state legislature to fund commu- 



nity-based long-term care services. 
While this legislation was subsequently 
vetoed, it helped to spark dialogue and 
conversation in the community about 
the long-term care problem. 

Akaku CEO Sean McLaughlin has 
participated as a member of the core 
leadership team of the MLTCP since its 
inception. He has been invaluable as a 
volunteer consultant to the project on 
ways in which to integrate a full range 
of media PSAs, as well as articles in the 
Maui News and Maui's regional com- 
munity newspapers, to keep the project 
"top of mind" in the community. 

Akaku and ifs public access affiliates 
have become a key source of "local" 
information in our unique island coun- 
ty. Its contribution to community edu- 
cation has been a key catalyst in bring- 
ing together citizens from all walks of 
life who are working together and iden- 
tifying new ways of using scarce 
resources to address the "tsunami uf 
seniors" facing our community and the 
nation. 

True to their mission, Akaku is 
"empowering our community's voice 
through access to media," and Maui's 
Long Term Care Partnership is being 
heard. 



This article was co-written by Tony 
Krieg, M.P.H, chair, Maui Long Term Care 
Partnership and CEO/president of Hale 
Makua, an eldercare organization, and 
Rita Barreras, M. [/.A, project coordinator, 
Maui Long Term Care Partnership Strategic 
Planning Initiative. Tony Kreig may be con- 
tacted at tonyk@hateniakua,coni. Rita 
Barreras may be contacted at 
ritab@mauigateway.com. 



The Robert Wood Johnson 
Foundation, based in Princeton, 
N.J., is the nation's largest philan- 
thropy devoted exclusively to 
health and health care. It concen- 
trates its grantmaking in four goal 
areas: to assure that all Americans 
have access to quality health care at 
reasonable cost; to improve the 
quality of care and support for peo- 
ple with chronic health conditions; 
to promote healthy communities 
and lifestyles; and to reduce the 
personal, social and economic 
harm caused by substance abuse — 
tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. 



mm 




Left to Right, Ron Cooper, Sue Buske Leadership Award; Tarek Bagdadi, Jewell Ryan-White Award for 
Cultural Diversity; Wanda Baer, George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication. 

Alliance Honors Community 
Media Leaders in Tacoma 



IN ONE OF THE consistently most 
inspiring and heartwarming events at 
the annual Alliance for Community 
Media conference, the Alliance present- 
ed its highest awards to three communi- 
ty media leaders — Ron Cooper, Tarek 
Bagdadi, and Wanda Baer — on July 12, 
2003 at the Alliance for Community 
Media International Conference and 
Trade Show in Tacoma, Washington. 

Ron Cooper received the Sue Buske 
Leadership Award i n recognition for his 
years of leadership at the local, regional 
and national levels of the Alliance. A 
member of the Alliance since 1984, Ron 
has distinguished himself as chair of the 
Alliance's Western Region Board of 
Directors and as the regional represen- 
tative to the National Alliance Board of 
Directors. An alumnus of California 
State University /Sacramento and hold- 
ing a graduate degree in Broadcast 
Communication Arts, San Francisco 
State University, Ron has been with 
Access Sacramento since 1986. He 
became executive director of Access 
Sacramento in ] 992 and since that time 
the organization has received over 50 
national and regional awards. In 2000, 
Ron assumed management of the 
Sacramento Festival of Cinema that now 
includes a digital film creation contest 
named "A Place Called Sacramento." 

"The Buske award carries a stringent 
criteria that tire recipient must have 
been a leader at every level of the organ- 



ization," said Bunnie Riedel, "That is not 
an easy accomplishment and this award 
speaks to Ron's commitment to access." 
In his acceptance speech, Ron shared 
his insights into effective leadership, 
then concluded: "The empowerment of 
our unique, individual voices is an 
unending miracle. We in community 
media are privileged to orchestrate these 
choruses and to nourish community- 
wide storytelling... I pledge my contin- 
ued commitment, to this growth and ask 
each of you to do the same." 

Tarek Bagdadi received the Jewell 
Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity, 
given annually for outstanding contri- 
butions to a process that encourages, 
facilitates or creates culturally diverse 
and/or non- mainstream community 
involvement in the field of community 
media. Tarek served as a popular and 
charismatic television anchor in Tripoli, 
Libya during the late 1970s, but left his 
country and sought asylum in Sweden 
as the government of Colonel Muammer 
al-Gadhafi became more repressive. 
Once in Minnesota, Tarek became a pro- 
ducer at the Minneapolis 
Telecommunications Network (MTN). In 
1989, Tarek partnered with several 
organizations to create a youth training 
program focusing on civic responsibility 
and incorporating a strong television 
component. Since the program's incep- 
tion, Tarek has trained over 700 stu- 
dents, including Tibetan youth and low- 

©1135 



Alliance for 
Community 

Media 
International 
Conference & 
Trade Show 

July 9- 12, 2003 

Tacoma, 
Washington 



Alliance Recognizes Courage and 
Spirit with Director's Choice Awards 

Jonathan Adelstein; Michael Copps; The Alliance of Local 
Organizations Against Pre-emption; Speak Up Tampa Bay. 



continued from previous page 

income middle school girls in rural 
Minnesota. As studio manager at MTN, 
he is a passionate advocate against dis- 
crimination of all kinds. Tarek has 
worked with gay, lesbian, transgender 
and bisexual producers at MTN, and as 
an Arab, has also worked to quell anti- 
Arab sentiment in his community. Tarek 
has served as a beacon to new immi- 
grants welcoming them in Arabic, 
English, Italian, Spanish and French. 

Said Riedel of the award: "Tarek 
proves why access television is impor- 
tant. He has used the medium to 
increase cross-cultural understanding 
and to help tear down the walls of dis- 
crimination that divide us. We are proud 
to give him this distinguished award." 

The George Stoney Award for 
Humanistic Communications, given 
annually to an organization or individual 
that has made an outstanding contribu- 
tion to championing the growth and 
experience of humanistic communica- 
tions, went to Wanda Baer from Dayton, 
Ohio, Ms. Baer began producing pro- 
grams and volunteering at Access 30 
Dayton in 1981. Wanda has produced 
over 50 programs for the REACH 
(Realizing Ethnic Awareness and Cultural 
Heritage Across Dayton) program with 
titles such as "Celebrating Cultural 
Diversity," "Ethnic & Cultural 
Differences," and "Appalachian Music & 
Dancing." An octogenarian, Wanda cov- 
ers the Dayton Daily News' "Ten Top 
Women Awards Program" and has distin- 
guished herself as a documentarian with 
the production of Dayton History: 
Migration of African Americans and 
many other productions as a volunteer 
at Dayton Access Television, 

"Wanda's talents not only touch the 
people she works with, but touch every- 
one who lives in community. She contin- 
ually creates programming that both 
entertains and enlightens and it is pro- 
gramming that will be part of the official 
record of the people of Dayton for many 
years to come," said Riedel. 

Of the honors overall, Riedel said, 
"We are thrilled to recognize such out- 
standing people and efforts. Ron, Tarek 
and Wanda are shining examples of the 
accomplishments of Public, Educational 
and Governmental (PEG) access." 



IN ADDIHON TO THE other honors and 
awards bestowed in Tacoma, the Alliance 
also presented its 2003 Director's Choice 
Awards to four recipients: FCC 
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein; FCC 
Commissioner Michael Copps; The 
Alliance of Local Organizations Against 
Pre-emption; and Speak Up Tampa Bay. 

"These individuals and organizations 
have shown tremendous courage and 
spirit in defending the public interest, 
public rights of way and freedom of 
speech," said Bunnie Riedel, executive 
director of the Alliance. "That is why they 
are so deserving of this award," 

FCC Commissioners Adelstein and 
Copps held public hearings throughout 
the country at their own expense in order 
to receive comment regarding the FCC 
planned Report and Order on media con- 
solidation and cross-ownership. When 
the vote was finally taken by the FCC, 
only Copps and Adelstein voted "no." 
Despite widespread public outcry against 
relaxing the media ownership rules from 
such disparate groups as the Center for 
Digital Democracy and the National Rifle 
Association, the relaxation of ownership 
rules was passed on June 2, 2003. 

"None of the other Commissioners 
were willing to even consider the com- 
ments of the public. It was clear that this 
had nothing to do with partisan politics, 
but instead was a decision driven by 
industry," said Riedel. 

Speak Up Tampa Bay is a public 
access channel in Tampa Bay, Florida. 
The County of Hillsborough eliminated 
Speak Up's funding after county commis- 
sioners voted 5-1. Speak Up had been the 
subject of disdain by certain members of 
the commission over the past two years, 
wrho had objected to its free-speech pro- 
gramming. Speak Up Tampa Bay filed in 
the United States District Court in Florida 
in the case Speak Up Tampa Bay Public 
Access Television v. Board of County 
Commissioners of Hillsborough County. 
The court found that a government con- 
tractor has protection against retaliation 
by a government agency for exercising 



their First Amendment rights. 

"This was an important case for pub- 
lic access throughout the country. It 
proves once again that free speech and 
the First Amendment cannot be subject 
to political whimsy," said Riedel. 

The fourth recipient of the Director's 
Choice Award was a coalition of groups 
known as the Alliance of Local 
Organizations Against Pre-emption 
(ALOAP). The members of ALOAP 
include: the National League of Cities; 
National Association of 
Telecommunications Officers and 
Advisors; National Association of 
Counties; U.S. Conference of Mayors; the 
International Municipal Lawyers 
Association; American Public Works 
Association and several municipalities 
across the country. ALOAP was formed 
when the FCC ruled that cable modem 
service was not a cable service but an 
"information service," and therefore 
could not be regulated by local or state 
government. 

ALOAP was given this award because 
of its courageous defense of the public 
interest in the National League of Cities 
et al v. FCC in the US Court of Appeals for 
the 9th Circuit. Not only did the FCC 
remove the ability of cable customers to 
seek the assistance of local government 
in forcing cable operators to provide 
quality service, but the ruling tentatively 
concluded that cabie modem income be 
exempt from being subject to franchise 
fees. Cities and counties across the coun- 
try stand to lose hundreds of millions of 
dollars in revenue each year because they 
cannot charge cable operators "fair rent" 
for use of public rights of way. 

"The swift and decisive action taken 
by ALOAP has been a tremendous 
encouragement to our many members," 
said Ms. Riedel, "This important chal- 
lenge to the FCC ruling is not just about 
revenue, instead this lawsuit may very 
well determine the right of local commu- 
nities to manage their public and private 
spaces." 



36« 



Stoney Award Winner Speaks Out 



Public Access Has Given Me a Voice 



by Wanda Baer 

THIS SUMMER I was honored with the 
George Stoney Humanistic Achievement 
Award from the Alliance for Community 
Media. The award was even more mean- 
ingful when T learned of Mr. Stoney's role 
in the establishment and growth of PEG 
stations in this nation. How gratifying to 
find out that we are both octogenarians 
and that much of our work has been as 
senior citizens and we're still actively 
involved. 

Little did 1 realize how free speech 
and video would impact my life when 1 
became a volunteer/independent pro- 
ducer at DATV. Unless you take time to 
look back it is easy to miss how often 
events and experiences can influence 
and converge into a life direction that 
never ends. 

At Sinclair Community College, where 
1 was employed, there was an Ad Hoc vol- 
unteer group called Project Focus which 
provided general support for women stu- 
dents who were returning to school later 
in life. This group also conducted work- 
shops for displaced homemakers, 
monthly Brown Bag series focusing on 
women's concerns, etc. We were part of 
Women's History Week being celebrated 
at the college in 1982. Through the fea- 
tured speaker, a feminist activist, we 
heard that we could use public access 
cablevision for a voice in the community. 
Public Access? What was it? We soon 
found out about Access 30 and Roxie 
Cole. Wow! A group of us took the train- 
ing with (he idea of using Public Access 
to focus on women's concerns. The 
Brown Bag series and the annual 
Women's Awareness Week would be 
monthly programs. Project Focus 
Productions and Women Focus were 
born. 

The first program was the 20th 
anniversary celebration of the Dayton 
Newspaper's Ten Top Women awards 
luncheon which was open to the public 
for the first time. One camera, audio off 
the P.A., two very inexperienced opera- 
tors, very little editing required and we 
got a good program. I was hooked and 
am still fascinated by it all. This year 




f 




m / 

marked our twenty-first year for this 
annual awards event but we now use all 
the modern technology available and a 
six-person crew, a far cry from that first 
production. 

Those early years were filled with 
frustration, malfunctions of all kinds. You 
name it, I experienced it. Remember 
those big heavy cameras, shaky tripods 
and limited editing equipment. Graphics 
were particularly crude; often just a nice- 
ly printed poster board. But what learn- 
ing took place; what satisfaction when a 
program was completed and aired. Look 
what is available now. Technology has 
come a long way and public access pro- 
grams can match the quality of many of 
the commercial stations. 

Retirement brought time to look 
beyond women's concerns. As a member 
of a Race Relations Task Force, my focus 
changed to programs to improve under- 
standing among ethnic, racial, religious 
and economic groups. Although Women 
Focus addressed some of these concerns, 
that was not its primaty emphasis. 

In 1993, REACH Across Dayton study 
conferences began, a collaboration 
between Sinclair Community College and 
the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC). 
REACH, an acronym for Realizing Ethnic 
Awareness and Cultural 1 Ieritage, is a 
program to bring together all cultures 
through the arts and humanities. Its 
tenth anniversary was celebrated this 
year. During these years, City Folk spon- 
sored a three-year Dayton Stories Project 
which formed Story Circles in the com- 
munity so individuals could share their 



stories and heritage from their diverse 
backgrounds and it brings people togeth- 
er to recognize the commonalities in 
their culture and heritage and celebrate 
their differences. These efforts helped 
people to realize that diversity does not 
have to be divisive; that we share in our 
love of family, enjoyment of music, 
dance, arts, food, and many other facets 
of the human experience. 

Thanks to DATV, our public access 
channel, much of this is recorded on 
video for posterity. Through public 
access, we were given voice so these pro- 
grams could reach a much wider audi- 
ence in the community than just those 
participating in the projects. 

Roxie Cole, founder and executive 
director of Access 30, now DATV— Access 
20, was an inspiration to all of us as vol- 
unteer/independent producers. She sup- 
ported our efforts and encouraged us to 
expand our horizons. She fervently sup- 
ported the freedom of the public to com- 
municate. DATV and its staff have con- 
tinued to implement this philosophy and 
have provided an environment that pro- 
motes learning of new technology, fosters 
a camaraderie among the volunteers so 
there is a willingness to share experi- 
ences, knowledge, new ideas and support 
for each other's shows. 

Looking back, it really began with 
parents who taught me to appreciate the 
many rights and privileges that we have 
in this country and impressed upon me 
that our freedom of speech was so funda- 
mental to maintaining our democracy 
that it was the First Amendment in our 
Bill of Rights. 

Public Access gives individuals that 
voice; an opportunity to exercise the free- 
dom of expression in a media that is 
largely controlled by commercial inter- 
ests. Our challenge now is to guard 
against limiting public access, to preserve 
the right of the community to have a 
voice, accept the responsibility and be 
accountable not to exploit that right in a 
frivolous way. 



Wanda E. Baer is a volunteer and inde- 
pendent producer atDA'lV, Dayton, Ohio. 
She may be contacted at webaer@juno.com 

©1137 



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The following is the White Paper presented 
at the national conference of the Alliance for 
Community Media in Tacoma, WA in July, 
2003. The purpose of the White Paper sessions is 
to address more philosophical aspects of PEC 
access/community media and to encourage 
self-reflexive analysis of basic access tenets. 

by DeeDee Halleck 

LAST MONTH I was in Barranquilla, 
Colombia, as part of a conference of com- 
munity media entitled Our Media 
\www.ourmedianetorg\, organized by a 
group of academics, media makers and 
teachers. One of the events we saw there 
was a street projection at the Plaza of 
Bolivar of a film about the neighborhood 
around the plaza which had been made by 
students at the nearby Universidad del 
Norte. A soft rain drenched the plastic 
seats and an umbrella shielded the projec- 
tor, but the warmth of the images on the 
screen made the chilly night cozy. 

The audience, many of whom were in 
the film, watched with enthusiasm. This 
screening reminded me of street screen- 
ings I organized in 1961 in the Lower East 
Side in New York City of work by our 
Henry Street Settlement film club. It was 
also like the projections of experimental 
video I saw one evening on a building in 
downtown Havana of work produced by 
the Cuban Video Movement as part of the 
Latin American Film Festival in the 1988. 
It resonated most closely, I suppose, with a 
screening by TV Maxambomba I attended 
in a favela of Rio in die '90s with a screen 
attached to a VW microbus. 

These screenings were all of Out- 
Media. There may be different equipment, 
different themes, different imagery, differ- 
ent formats. It might be through the air- 
waves, community cable channels, the 
rumba drums, the Xerox machine, the 
computer, or a dance stage. It may be in 
villages or barrios, in attics or basements, 
it may be on roof tops or billboards, on a 
satellite or a mola. Our Media are united 
by being made and shared by people on a 
completely different basis from that of the 
mass media. This is media for cooperation 
and exchange, for peace and against 
exploitation and greed. 

Much of the discussion at the 
Colombia conference focused on develop- 
ment media projects in Latin America and 
Asia. Within the "first world" we have our 



own "third world": there are many com- 
munities totally excluded from mass 
media. With the growing militarism of 
George Bush's presidency it is more 
important than ever that we have spaces 
for those who disagree with the war fever 
that has gripped the corporate channels. 
We who are in the "belly of the beast" have 
our own needs for information equity. The 
community of alternative media makers in 
the United States often have a hard time 
raising sustaining funds from foundations 
who sometimes find it easier to fund proj- 
ects in far off lands than projects too close 
to home. 

Negotiating franchise agreements with 
cable corporations has been one way that 
many of us have been able to sustain com- 
munity media in this country'. I think the 
lessons of access in the U.S. are extremely 
important to share with the world. In 
December there will be an important 
gathering in Geneva, Switzerland that is 
co-sponsored by the International 
Telecommunications Union and UNESCO. 
For the first time there will be representa- 
tives of the "civil society" there to debate 
issues concerning the "World Summit on 
the Information Society." This is a good 
opportunity for those of us with experi- 
ence in PEG access to share our insights 
and suggestions with delegates from all 
over the world. The ITU designates the 
satellite paths. Like the "rights of way" in 
our cities, these paths are a public 
resource, At the present time, they are 
used by commercial and military interests. 
Perhaps there could be a way that using 
the lessons of franchise negotiations, the 
ITU could set up a mechanism so that any 
commercial use of the satellite paths has 
to be augmented by a "set-aside" for pub- 
lic use: channels (transponders) and time 
for Our Media. As for the military use, 
there could be a stipulation that all mili- 
tary transponders be matched with ones 
dedicated to peace. 

This is a Utopian idea, but so is PEG 
access. Despite the constant threats and 
hassles from the cable corporations, 
despite the way the mass media ridicules 
and minimizes community media, despite 
the attempts to deregulate any public 
interest sector from our channels, at the 
present time PEG access is working and 
thriving in many cities. This can be a 



model of democratic communication for 
the world. 

There is much lip service given to 
"bridging the digital divide." The way to 
do that is to strengthen community media 
on an international level. There are corpo- 
rate entities that are trying to use the lan- 
guage of empowerment to ensnare com- 
munities in a web of consumerism and 
debt. On my way to Colombia I picked up 
a copy of the Financial Times and found 
an arlicle that I think highlights the differ- 
ence between our media and theirs.^ The 
article is about a project of Flewlett 
Packard and Unilever corporation and is 
being touted as bridging the digital divide. 
It proposes to give Indian women Palm 
Pilot mini-computers, or as they call it 
"personal digital organizers." Why? Well, 
first they say to access information about 
hospitals, schools, and food prices in this 
test village of Chirumarri, which is two 
hours from Hyderabad. According to the 
article the pilot project will be "upgraded" 
to allow the women to buy and sell sham- 
poos, soaps and other Unilever products. 
Unilever is working with "self-help" groups 
to sell its products in rural India in places 
which are beyond the reach of formal dis- 
tribution networks. Corps rural markets 
generate 50 percent of Unilever's Indian 
turnover. There are 638,000 rural villages 
in India. Unilever had reached a level of 
penetration (of only 100,000 of these vil- 
lages) that "could not be improved alone... 
T hat's why we have chosen a partner in 
the self-help groups." The project was 
described as "low risk," but some of the 
women were alarmed by concepts such as 
| the high rate of profit on the products they 
were selling to their neighbors. Said one of 
the heads of the project, "The deep com- 
munity spirit among the women meant 
they were not competitive in pricing 
goods sold to neighbors. We told them it 
was not wrong to charge a margin— after 
all, our aim was to turn illiterate women 
into viable entrepreneurs." 

This project is not Our Media. It is def- 
initely Their Media. 

DeeDee Halleck is Professor Emeritus at 
the University of California-San Diego. 
Email: dhalleck&weber. ucsd.edu 

1 Merchant, Khozem. "Final Frontier for the 
Shampoo Sellers." Financial Times (London). 
20 May 2003: 16. 



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After more than twelve years of development 
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Alliance National Board Chair Brian Wilson (left) with Elmer J. Dixon, Diversity 
Training/Team Building consultant. 

Alliance National Board Examines 
Diversity Issues and Team Building 

TN TATE SEPTEMBER, 2002, the Alliance for Community Media's National 
Board of Directors made a commitment to engage in a process of team 
building and diversity training spanning the November 2002 and July 2003 
Board meetings held in Tacoma, Washington. The impetus for this work was 
recognition that while the Alliance was growing, evolving, and in many ways 
fulfilling its mission, there was a desire to focus the board's attention on 
gaining a deeper understanding of diversity issues and how the board could 
work together more effectively. 

Following a proposal evaluation process, the board selected Executive 
Diversity Services of Seattle to provide the diversity and team building 
engagement. Elmer J. Dixon, a principal in the firm, was engaged to work 
with the Alliance Board. Elmer's company biography states that he "brings 
25 years experience as a manager and trainer with vision, energy and cre- 
ativity in addressing cross cultural communication, team building, and con- 
flict management." As the board discovered, Elmer brings all that and much 
more. 

Using a combination of presentation and group exercises, Elmer guided 
the board through an examination of how stereotyping can negatively 
impact communication and group dynamics, how each member of a group 
or team brings a unique communication style that must be understood and 
embraced, how individuals in a group perceive conflict and how willing they 
are to use it as a tool in the process of debate. The dialogue around these 
issues was heartfelt, sometimes brutally frank, but always respectful. 

The impact of Elmer's work with the board will hopefully be evident for 
years to come. The interaction with him certainly had an impact on individ- 
ual board members. 

Information Services Committee Chair Hap Haasch stated that "the 
work we did with Elmer was extremely valuable in guiding us to what we 
hope will be a lasting culture of trust, responsibility to each other, and to the 
organization," Added National Board ("hair Brian Wilson, "Because we share 
a common mission, we often assume we share common experience and 
communication styles. Elmer's training crushed that assumption, demand- 
ing we focus on better understanding of our differences, and the power of 
communication by examining both its impact and intent. It's a valuable tool 
for all of us to utilize." 



Community Media 
and Social Change 
Workshops Create 
Buzz at Conference 

BY JESIKAH MARIA ROSS 

This year's Alliance conference featured some- 
thing new and novel: an entire track dedicated to the 
theme of community media for social change. The 
track brought together local and national social- 
issue activists, media justice organizers, community 
educators, and cultural workers with community tel- 
evision leaders to explore PEG media centers' role in 
the media democracy movement, as well as to dis- 
cuss effective ways that access centers can create 
stronger links with diverse organizations to ensure a 
thriving future for community media. The goals of 
the community media and social change track 
included: 

A Examining the overarching issues, trends, and 
practices that impact social-issue media and com- 
munity development work; 

.4 Sharing concrete examples of how grassroots 
media is making a difference in local problem-solv- 
ing, bridge-building, and community-improvement 
efforts; 

▲ Enhancing networking and coalition-building 
among public access media practitioners, communi- 
ty development workers, and social justice organiz- 
ers. 

To achieve these goals, track organizers Karen 
Toering, Jan Strout and jesikah maria ross crafted a 
dynamic blend of activities for participants, includ- 
ing: public screenings and discussions of innovative 
social media work; apre-conference symposium on 
the media democracy movement featuring leaders 
from community radio, the alternative press, indy- 
media, media think tanks, and grassroots distribu- 
tors; five workshops bringing together a diverse 
group of media activists and community organizers 
addressing topics such as digital storytelling, media 
justice, resource development, partnerships, and 
movement" building; and a networking lunch and 
evening social. 

Post-workshop evaluations, comments shared on 
the Alliance listserv, and responses sent in by speak- 
ers and participants demonstrate that the track was 
a resounding success! 

This innovative track was made possible through 
underwriting support from the Ford Foundation, The 
Media Justice Fund of the Funding Exchange, and 
the Alliance Northwest Region. 

jesikah maria ross is a media arts educator specializ- 
ing in creating and implementing projects that focus on 
media as a vehicle for community development. Contact 
her at jmross@ucda vis.edu 



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The Annenberg/CPB Channel 




COMNITY MEDIA REVIEW 

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It's free, and available 24/7 
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